Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stabbed In Stanzas: Horror Poetry Book Review

Private Worlds: A Revised Atlas
by Scott E. Green;
Abbott ePublishing, 2009;
38 pages; PDF $2.49

reviewed by Karen L. Newman

Private Worlds: A Revised Atlas by Scott E. Green is an expansion of his previous collection Private Worlds, first released in 1985 and then issued again in e-format in 2001, except this collection has additional poems. There are asterisks in front of several poems, which are assumed to be the new works, although this is not made clear in the copy received from the publisher for this review. In the title of each poem the word ‘world’ is used after the name of an actor, filmmaker, artist, author, or other person associated with horror, science fiction, or fantasy. After several pages, these titles become monotonous to read, unfortunate considering the exquisite craftsmanship of each poem. Green sums up his impression of each person in few words for maximum effect. However, if unfamiliar with these people, this effect is lost, particularly since only the last name is utilized.
The poems are presented in alphabetical order, instead of organized by any subset, which adds to the diversity of the collection. Green’s writing style varies from poem to poem, indicating the differences in each spotlighted person. Consonance and alliteration are featured in place of rhyme, so as to pack an emotional punch without being contrite or contrived. An example would be an excerpt from the poem “Lovecraft’s World”:

using humanity
in hidden moves

Green pays homage in verse, a novel way to honor these influential people, so clever as to be considered epitaphs. Despite, its flaws, Private Worlds: A Revised Atlas is certainly worth the price.

--Karen L. Newman