So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild

<i>So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed</i> - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild
A poetic journey with the poet's missionary grandparents to the China they served in between 1923 and 1951. CHECK OUT THE REVIEWS OF BOTH BOOKS (below)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Review of Poiema by Violet Nesdoly

Author: D.S. Martin
-----In Poiema, a collection of 66 poems, award-winning Canadian poet D.S. Martin fleshes out the book's Greek title. From the opening "Caedmon" ("You stammer a protest as Moses did / but he calls you to sing") to the final "Poiema" ("Even more so --we are His workmanship --His poem"), he reveals the essence of one of God's poems - himself.
-----Martin grows out of rich family soil that stretches from Asia's mission fields to Europe's theatre of war. We savour the pieces that describe his ancestors and relatives: "Family trees / filled with testifying birds."
-----It's easy to identify with the tension in Martin's poems about faith. He declares: "I believe in the ram caught in the thicket --the bread / that came down from heaven". Yet sometimes God feels absent to him. Thereare Bethlehem mothers who receive no angelic warning. Some who fall among thieves are not rescued by Good Samaritans.
-----Woven throughout the collection are poems about mundane things too - shopping carts, garden gnomes, hands, phone calls. They resonate with familiarity and amuse with whimsy. But even in these, Martin manages to turn our attention to the serious or eternal, often with startling last lines.
-----Martin's poetic versatility adds interest and pleasure. In addition to free verse there are prose poems, haiku and a variety of traditional forms from a ghazal (type of Persian poem) to villanelle (French form with rhyme and repeated lines). However, nowhere does he stray from his self-imposed form of no punctuation (in-line tab spaces replace some as in the quotes above) and the use of "&" instead of the word "and".
-----Poiema is Martin's poetic DNA - a collectionthat reveals a skilful artist with a unique perspective. But these poems are also universal. They probe, delight and spur us on. Finally, they leave us with hope and a challenge. For we too are God's poems.------VIOLET NESDOLY
Faith Today January/February 2009