SUSAN GRANT: ARTIFICIAL TIME
94 Sandy Point Farm Road
email Premier Poets
Web design by
This page last updated: 10th December 2007.
|SUSAN GRANT: ARTIFICIAL TIME|
ARTIFICIAL TIME by Susan Grant has a minimalist look: only nine pages set out in one word lines, the words surrounded by space. Thinking about where Grant's poems might stand in the tradition of minimalist poetry, I'm reminded of the work of William Carlos Williams, whose ongoing concerns were with the relation of poetry to the given state of the language and to the details and particulars of experience.
To begin, Grant's affectionate, compassionate identification with the person with whom she chats online brings us immediately into the pleasure to be had from conversing in online chat groups. The first poem, FIRST CHAT ONLINE, for example, directly alludes to the contact two people can make in cyber space, though they may be separated by many miles:
Forward From Spaces Called Home.In the next poem, SECOND CHAT ONLINE, Grant recognises the conscious or unconscious sympathetic identification between people, as they relate to each other's experiences. At the same time she celebrates the pureness of mind and the way in which the body can be controlled by the mind.
THIRD CHAT ONLINE has a soft resonance of the quiet recognition of the beauty of different countries and cultures: Bombay versus USA: What does Bombay look like
Can you see US AFIRST CHAT PHONE LINE is a direct communication with the other person:
<Dialing> Listening Speakingwhere perhaps she points to possible understandings between people of other cultures. This poem can be interpreted as a much more personal revelation of an inner state of mind:
<Thinking> hanging up files.threads.menus.statusSECOND CHAT PHONE LINE celebrates the mental freedom and serenity that perceives the one amongst the many, as the poet listens to a story told to her by the woman at the other end of the line:
Can You Tell Me Who I AmEven more minute observation takes place in FIRST CHAT VISUAL TIME, where Grant's Zen-like words are spaced down the page, giving the reader time to examine each thought with its Buddhist tinge:
Imaging Silence Re-cognizing Body Mind.Finally the poet is OFFLINE <ASLEEP>, an intensely personal poem, tinged with hope and a sense of personal growth. The poem perhaps encapsulating the poet's gently hopeful spirit of acceptance of the sadness and loneliness of ephemeral existence in the symbol of
|reviewer: Patricia Prime.|