Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review of "Corpse Flower, Luna Moth" by Daniel Tobin

"Corpse Flower, Luna Moth" by Daniel Tobin was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on December 18, 2013.  A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23809?utm_source=PAD%3A+Corpse+Flower%2C+Luna+Moth+by+Daniel+Tobin&utm_campaign=poemaday_121813&utm_medium=email

The poem is arranged in two parts, each having seven quatrains.  The first part is a poem about the corpse flower (pictured).  The second part is a poem about the luna moth, except for the final quatrain.

Each line in each stanza is arranged in an irregular manner rather than flush to the left margin.  There are internal rhymes throughout, and alliteration is used liberally.  Some words are deliberately split between lines in order to produce puns, for example "…amorpho- / phalos, misshapen / swelling."  Splitting "amorphophalos" (the genus of the corpse flower is Amorphophallus) in this way brings to mind the phallic appearance of the corpse flower.

The final quatrain contains the message that the poet wishes to convey or have us ponder.  According to the poet's notes, the theme of the poem is "language and the word that eludes utterance."  A good poet can create characters, plots, and/or settings that surround a poem and yet do not appear directly in the poem.  Prose writers can do this too--and when they do, their prose is often described as poetry.

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