"Antiblurb" exhibits deft technique, beginning with a lot of alliteration used to good effect, including:
- not necessary...neither
- hymn to harmonize
- bold bellwether
- flock, no iridescent feather dropped from
Aside from the rhymes, the poem uses assonance sparingly but with considerable efficacy:
- generation's...bellwether...iridescent feather
There are some subtle word associations, as with juxtaposing "crucial", which invokes the cross/crux, and "salvation". The slow consonantal "sh" sounds of "crucial" and "salvation" underscores the link between the words. Similarly, in Ms. Stallings' native Georgia, the "har-" in "harmonize" and the "choir-" ("kwar"?) in "choirs" (S1-L3) would sound very much alike.
We see a cute metrical trick in S1-L4, resolved by enunciating "bellweather" as a spondee rather than a dactyl, allowing the "-er" to soften the initial trochee in the subsequent line:
Nor |any gen|erat|ion's bold | bellweth'r
leading | the flock, | no ir|ides|cent feath'r
The volta is sharply turned, going from the negated to the asserted. The focus on abstraction rather than imagery may not make for a great video (see below) but, in the hands of a skilled actor or actress, "Antiblurb" can be good performance material.
Of the authors whose work will be mentioned in this series, A.E. Stallings may be the only one that Print Worlders recognize. She is a crossover, actively contributing to Eratosphere. Her "Fairy-Tale Logic" was used in the Poetry Out Loud project. While Alicia's career has attracted considerable attention, garnering numerous awards, "Antiblurb" has been strangely overlooked by critics. Go figure.
Next: "How Aimee remembers Jaguar" by Erin Hopson
- "Studying Savonarola" by Margaret A. Griffiths
- "Beans" by D. P. Kristalo
- "Antiblurb" by A. E. Stallings
- "How Aimée remembers Jaguar" by Eric Hopson
- "There Are Sunflowers in Italy" by Didi Menendez