Is good poetry like a cherry on your sundae, or is it more like the sundae, the cherry, and all other toppings? Maybe a well written, well thought out poem, is something that you think of as ice cream, but really it has hot fudge, nuts, sprinkles, and a cherry. To me, really good poetry is that sundae. You think you’re just having some ice cream, but really it’s all about the toppings. I wouldn’t go out to an ice cream place just to have plain soft serve vanilla ice cream, but you take that plain ice cream and put a bunch of deliciousness all over it – I’m eating that, even though I think the experience is all about ice cream. That poetry, that good poetry, is something where you think you’re just reading the words that are there – the words are like the ice cream. Really though, you’re there for the deeper meaning, the message behind the words, the nuts, fudge, sprinkles, and cherry on top.
Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits forgotten is a book of rich, delicious poetry by Oisin Breen.
The words that Breen chooses have you closing your eyes, picturing the scene that he has created, and rereading the text. There is beauty and there is emotion in every word that he writes.
The flowers they are fallen,
The fruit it is rotten,
But your grave is as pretty as ever.
This is an excerpt from Her Cross Carried, Burnt, which continues on later with:
Where once there was certainty,
Now there is context,
And the bloodied hand of surety binds the threshing stalk.
It is such a lovely but deeply sad picture that is painted. Flowers are beautiful, but they have fallen. Fruit is yummy, but it is rotten. Graves are usually pretty plain, boring, and not lovely, but your grave is pretty as ever. I see these beautiful things that have died or degraded, but the grave it remains the same. It is certain and constant. I wonder if that grave stone is the one thing the poet can rely on – the only thing that won’t leave, die, or rot.
If you enjoy poetry, this book is worth reading. It is the sundae, complete with all of the toppings. It might not be every topping you specifically want, but each poem will give you a unique experience, a flavour, an emotion that you might not have anticipated.