About the Poems
by Oliver Luker
Writing about one’s work is an unusual task, and one that does not come naturally. Should each word be weighed, its placement necessarily satisfactory to the eye, to the heart itself? Should there be a rhythm which comes from the words themselves, one which seeks not to express itself through artifice but through juxtaposition alone? There’s a desire to write plainly, to appeal – there’s a desire to come across as likeable – somehow to add a dimension to the words themselves, when the hope is that they stand by themselves.
These five poems were written between spring 2003 and summer this year. It has been a time of great change, a time of movement in my life – from the sullen forging-pot of corporate culture to a life in which creation lies at the heart of the daily endeavour. These poems reflect that. we face more wanting, now looks at the fear and criticisms that are often associated with change, while loss of faith speaks to the terror and the joy of moving forward, of carrying one’s victory within.
Speaking of his poetry to Henry Treece, a young Dylan Thomas commented that “the last thing they do is to flow; they are much rather hewn”. Las Herramientas … is an exploration of this idea, of poetry as physical task. Complete with its explicit Thomas reference, I look to the poetic task masquerading as love poem. it comes & comes is another nod to the craft or art, taking as its touchstone Horace’s ‘non omnis moriar’.
There is nothing clever about poetry, no matter what we pretend. If we get it right, it speaks to us – what more is there? rabia tries precisely that – to extend emotion from a single word to the length of a poem. While we don’t all have the same triggers, we all have the same want, the same peasant love, the same eventual hope.