THE MONSTRANCE Kindle Edition
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|Length: 132 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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These observations are made through a variety of voices from the Frankenstein myth: the monster, his gypsy lover, a priest, and the scientist. But these characters are transmogrified by Dietrich's creative genius. They exceed the boundaries of Shelley's novel and Whale's classic film adaptation. Dietrich uses these works surrounding this icon to decompose and recompose ideas related to creation / creativity, love, sexuality, identity, desire, death, and more.
Yes, this is a very smart book, but it's paradoxically accessible. In fact, I am mesmerized by Dietrich's ability to create a fantastical world, more strange than I could ever forge myself.
For example, this excerpt from the poem "The Monster, The Master and The Windmill": "Here trapped between fire, fall, and windmill blade, unaware, perhaps, of the Quixotic irony fate has found them in, they struggle. One machine, one man. One maker, one unmade."
Here Dietrich shows the eternal churning forces of life and death represented in one time, one place. The monster and maker are joined by God and all creatures and by that Spanish dreamer, Don Quixote and by us. We fleshy creatures in various states of being and unbeing are all churning and turning in the water, the mud, the machinery and the ash. A microcosm of the whole of human history.
What a strange and marvelous place that I could never imagine myself. But yet I never feel lost along the way, so somehow I'm collaborating in Dietrich's acts of imagination. How does he get inside my brain? Buy a copy of Monstrance and see if you can figure out if you are Dietrich's co-creator or if you are his creature.
I am a great fan of Bryan Dietrich's past volumes of poetry and he does not disappoint me in this, his most recent volume. While I am not a fan of science fiction, per se, I have become a tremendous fan of the poetic fiction of Mr. Dietrich. In this volume he makes me smile ("The Monster Learns To Read"), wince ("On the Evolution of the Human Gait"), and be brought to the verge of tears ("The Monsters Last Lesson"). This volume jumps and dances around perspectives, spinning through deep questions of hate, love, lust, and eternity deftly - almost in the same poetic breath ("The Monster and the Little Girl").
I wish that I was better trained in literary criticism. This review should be more profound and informative for those who need to pick apart the bones of poets and their works. I only know that when I am moved to read and re-read, a masterful poet must be lurking behind the words. In "The Monstrance", a master-poet clearly is.