Feb 4, 2009

City Above the Sea and Other Poems by Stephen Alan Saft

City Above the Sea and Other Poems by Stephen Alan Saft is the poet's third book of poems, which I received through Bostick Communications. Saft's preface will provide readers with insight into his background and possible influences. He discusses the different types of poems found in the volume. Some of the poems were previously performed with live music.

The title poem, "City Above the Sea," paints a vivid picture of this future-like city with glass towers and green vines hanging. The A-A-B-B rhyme scheme of the poem is not as distracting as other rhyming poems are because the images are so vivid and transport the reader into this technologically efficient world. The poem touts the benefits of technology in creating electric cars and other less polluting tools and devices, but in stanza 10 the mood changes. In a way, the poem preaches to the reader about the need of society to save humanity.

"Population grows. Suburbs intrude on the land of the cow/Where once the farmer tilled with tractor and plow/How will we feed ourselves when out numbers double?/Meanwhile the sea rises putting other land in trouble//" (Page 15, Stanza 11)

Saft's romantic nature comes to light in "The Cucumber Plant to the Sun," as he weaves images of a growing plant reaching for the sun begging to be that same sun's only love. This poem will make readers smile as they see the plant growing in the nurturing light and unfurling its tendrils.

Saft's use of language in "Tomatoes" reminds me of so many of my favorite, yet poignant, poems in Lawrence Ferlinghetti's book A Coney Island of the Mind. There is a great deal of alliteration in this poem, but there is much more going on in it. It has a primal nature that readers must discover.

Whether the verse is free or rhyming, Saft skillfully paints a vivid picture or narrative through which he cracks open the underbelly of reality and the beauty inherent in that reality. Readers will enjoy his fresh images and innovative language.

Also Reviewed By:
Puss Reboots
Never Without a Book
Considering All Things Literary

About the Poet:

Stephen Alan Saft, also known as S.A. Saft, is a writer of essays, novels, plays and poetry. As a poet, Saft has written over a hundred poems, many of which he has presented in public readings. Saft’s poetry is a combination of blank verse, free verse and rhyming pieces, some of which were written to be performed with music. Saft has given poetry readings in Virginia, Maine, Vermont, California, Texas, New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC, in some cases to the accompaniment of a jazz band.


Lenore said...

I'm not a big reader of poetry (besides the classics) but I'm glad to hear you got something good from Bostick.

Serena said...

Lenore: I love poetry, but unfortunately, I find it hard to get good volumes from self-publishers. This is a self-published volume that was well-written and insightful.

LadyVampire2u said...

While I don't often read whole books on poetry, I like hearing the way a certain poem or poet effects someone. Its different for everyone and very interesting what some people find as a meaning in the words.
On a side note, I wanted to let you know that I tagged you on my blog over at http://ladyvampire2u.blogspot.com/2009/02/ive-been-tagged.html .

Serena said...

LadyVampire: Thanks for stopping by to check out my review. I really loved his introduction to his poems; I think it says alot about who he is as an artist.

Devon Ellington said...

That looks like a good one - thanks for reviewing it! I might not have found it otherwise.

Lisa said...

What a great post! It made me remember how much I love reading poetry. Sadly, I've gotten away from it. Thanks for the reminder. And thanks also for visiting my blog and for your kind words. You have a lovely blog. I've been snooping around for awhile. I'll be visiting you often!

Serena said...

Devon: I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

Lisa: Thanks for popping over to check out the review. I've been lurking on a few blogs.

Anna said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I remember you weren't sure whether to take a chance on it. Sounds interesting, and it's always great to find a self-published gem. Great review, as always.

Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

Anna: I like when I take a chance on a self-published book and it works out. I really enjoyed this book. I think it may have to be re-read. At least some of the poems anyway. Remind me to read you Tomatoes!