As promised, my review of Lambent Dreams. What’s it about? Poetry. Plain and simple:
The Poetry of Tallis Steelyard. This appropriately slim volume is the fruit of a unique artistic collaboration, bringing together the writings of one of Port Naain’s most major minor poet with the personal commentary of an esteemed cartographer and traveller, and the guiding notes of an informed poet-critic. You cannot say you have not been warned.
The poetry in this book is endlessly fascinating. I read the whole volume in the course of a morning, punctuated by short bursts of doing my day job, and I can’t wait to go back and read them over more closely to see if I can find some deeper meaning. (If, of course, there is any deeper meaning. Sometimes a poem is just a poem.)
My favorite bit of verse from this book is Stanza No. 4 from “A Bedtime Story”:
4) The totality of propositions is language
where propositions may be elegant or coarse.
A man is no less complicated than his language
though thugs and fools may place their trust in force.
A proposition is a picture of reality,
so lady take this sweet sung dream of mine
and make it my reality and thine.
The last three lines in particular are what struck me about this bit of verse, as it reminded me of a Shakespearean sonnet (no sonnet in particular, mind you, just in general). I really, really like that bit – I suppose it appeals to my romantic nature. 🙂
The poetry in this book is accompanied by historical, social, and geographical notes, as well as personal recollections, by Benor Dorfinngil and brief technical and interpretive notes by Lancet Foredeck, which I found both entertaining and enlightening. Take, for example, this note at the end of the eponymous poem:
Have you ever noticed how miserable poets can get?16 Personally I’ve always suspected it was something to do with spending their time struggling to find rhymes for things. Either that or it was brought on by having to explain endlessly to people that it was still proper poetry even if it didn’t rhyme.
I think this is just Tallis on one of those days.
Then there are the footnotes inserted, for some mysterious reason, by the print-masters and their apprentices. The footnote referenced in this bit of annotation is equally amusing:
16 Yes, we get them in here, long-faced miserable wights. They wander sourly round the workshop, complaining about the quality of the binding.
Heck, even the copyright page was entertaining. 😀
In short, if you need a quick read and are looking for something a bit different, I heartily recommend Lambent Dreams: The Poetry of Tallis Steelyard.
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