- Systems Disruption has two stanzas. Each stanza contain six lines; each line contains between four and six words. The words in each stanza are identical. Just in a different order. Both seem randomly arranged.
- Issue them gasmasks has two stanzas. Each stanza has four lines, The first three lines have three ‘words’ each followed by a fourth line of two words. Each ‘word’ consists of a part of an English word. These usually derive from Latin. Perhaps the game is that you can make other words and therefore construct a variety of poems.
- Seesound, which is I suppose a play of the word seesaw, contains within it some ‘matched’ lines, sometimes as couplets and at other times distributed. Thus:
- means of impression/ means of expression
- no room for present ... no room for poignant/ no room for pregnant
- added value water/ added while water/ added whole water
- Never Odd Nor Even consists of six stanzas each of seven lines. The first four stanzas are a sort of ‘theme with variations’: five of the lines from the preceding stanza are repeated with two new lines added. Sometimes the line added came from a previous stanza. Each line is repeated twice over the four stanzas. The final two stanzas have the same seven lines in each but in a different order. None of these lines appeared previously.What is he playing at? Campanology?
The volume contains what are presumably modernist jokes:
- i am lonely for my replaced cells is a poem that consists of the single line: "1945, 1952, 1959, 1966, 1973, 1980, 1987" and presumably alludes to the belief that every cell in one’s body is replaced every seven years.
- 26 is a poem about dementia. I think. Right justified, almost every line ends in the middle of a word, as if the thought has suddenly stopped.
- Language Construction consists of a big square blacktype letter A superimposed on a letter E and a letter N and a letter G. I think. It is dedicated to Doug Lang so it might be an L instead of an E to form an anagram but it looks like an E to me
But Envoi is the poem that sneers at people like me who remember rhythm and rhyme. It starts "I could go on like this all day/ Ti-tum ti-tum and doodly-ay". I suppose Raworth is saying that he can write conventional poetry but chooses not to; he has a higher calling. The trouble is that this is a pretty poor poem in conventional terms so the point is lost.
A number of poems refer to 'pleasant butter' but this makes no more sense than anything else.
I really don't understand much of this. He sounds angry.
Some lines did resonate with me:
- something not quite filters through eyelashes
- where do they go/ those things we know we know
Mostly, however, I just felt confused and stupid.
May 2018; 88 pages