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The Amsterdam Sonnet Cycle

Sonnets to Amsterdam: Journey Through the Amsterdam Outcasts of the Lillard Universe

A heroic crown of sonnets symbolises an extraordinary accomplishment. It signifies a degree of poetic mastery and achievement that surpasses that of a single crown of sonnets. Each crown within a heroic crown of crowns represents a signigicant milestone in the poet’s journey. It signifies the poet’s ability to excel in his chosen endeavour and one of the highest levels of arrangement within which to exercise his poetic influence.

A heroic crown of crowns consists in 14 crowns of sonnets of which the Mastersonnets form a new crown. All the sonnets are linked together. Each of the crowns consists of 14 individual sonnets which are woven together. The Mastersonnet (Magistral) is made of the first lines of the 14 sonnets before it.
Those 14 Mastersonnets (Magistrals) generate a 15th Mastersonnet (Magistral’s Magistral) by their first or last lines, that 15th Mastersonnet is also called the Grandmastersonnet (Grand Magisterial Sonnet). A crown of crowns consists thus of 196 linked sonnets which generate 14 Mastersonnets which generate 1 Grandmastersonnet; this leads to a total of 211 sonnets.
This present volume follows the aforementioned format, in possessing 14 crowns, and they form a strict interwoven 15th crown, because the 14 Mastersonnets (Magisterials) are linked together. Still that 15th crown generates a Grandmastersonnet, so the total of sonnets is 211. The first book in this first volume, consists in the first 70 sonnets in a heroic crown of crowns.
The ultimate format for publication will be a Trinity of Heroic Crown of Crowns. That is three sets of 211 wreathed sonnets to Amsterdam.

Volume I: 

Book I: Sonnets I – LXX
Book II: Sonnets LXXI – CXL
Book III: Sonnets  CXLI – CCXI

Volume II: 

Book I: Sonnets I – LXX
Book II: Sonnets LXXI – CXL
Book III: Sonnets  CXLI – CCXI

Volume III:

Book I: Sonnets I – LXX
Book II: Sonnets LXXI – CXL
Book III: Sonnets  CXLI – CCXI

Sonnets to Amsterdam, Volume I, Book I.

Collection: Sonnets to Amsterdam:

Journey Through the Amsterdam Outcasts of the Lillard Universe

Prima corona coronae heroicae

Volume I, Book I.

First Wreath of Sonnets: Magistral

1 Sonnet I: The Quest Begins
2 Sonnet II: The Wisdom Gained
3 Sonnet III: Through Amsterdam’s Veins
4 Sonnet IV: Reflections in Still Water
5 Sonnet V: Shadows and Light Within
6 Sonnet VI: Beyond the Shadows
7 Sonnet VII: Inward Odyssey
8 Sonnet VIII: Adoration’s Echo
9 Sonnet IX: Amsterdam’s Whispering Shadows
10 Sonnet X Liberation’s Dawn
11 Sonnet XI Fall and Rise in Amsterdam
12 Sonnet XII Healing and Discovery
13 Sonnet XIII Shadows and Revelations
14 Sonnet XIV Embracing Self Amidst Struggles:
Self-acceptance

Second Wreath of Sonnets: Magistral

15 Sonnet XIV Journey Through Shadows
16 Sonnet XVI Radiance in the Asphalt Jungle
17 Sonnet XVII The Amsterdam Odyssey
18 Sonnet XVIII Cyber Hippie’s Amsterdam Journey
19 Sonnet XIX Amsterdam’s Challenging Embrace
20 Sonnet XX The Challenge of Self-Love in Amsterdam
21 Sonnet XXI Urban Growth and Echoes
22 Sonnet XXII Embracing Infinity in Amsterdam
23 Sonnet XXIII Wasted Potential in Amsterdam
24 Sonnet XXIV: Timeless Love in the Digital Age
25 Sonnet XXV: Love’s Journey in Amsterdam
26 Sonnet XXVI: A Tribute to Julius, Amsterdam’s
Chronicler
27 Sonnet XXVII: Lillard, Amsterdam’s Timeless Beacon
28 Sonnet XXVIII: From Darkness to Dawn in Amsterdam

Third Wreath of Sonnets; Magistral

29 Sonnet XXIX: Lillard’s Legacy: A Timeless Beacon
30 Sonnet XXX: A Distant Love in Amsterdam
31 Sonnet XXXI: Amsterdam’s Echoes
32 Sonnet XXXII: In Opium’s Embrace
33 Sonnet XXXIII: The Quest for Love in Amsterdam
34 Sonnet XXXIV: Reverie in Plantage’s Solace
35 Sonnet XXXV: Shadows in the Mind’s Carnival
36 Sonnet XXXVI: From Shadows to Light
37 Sonnet XXXVII: The Odyssey of Self in Amsterdam
38 Sonnet XXXVIII: Amidst Shadows, a Spark in Amsterdam
39 Sonnet XXXIX: Navigating the Mind’s Maze
40 Sonnet XL: Amidst Amsterdam’s Whispers
41 Sonnet XLI: Amidst Amsterdam’s Shadows
42 Sonnet XLII: Twilight’s Echoes in Amsterdam

Fourth Wreath of Sonnets: Magistral

43 Sonnet XLIII: Amidst Amsterdam’s Contrasts
44 Sonnet XLIV: The Dance of Existence
45 Sonnet XLV: In Search of Self-Truth
46 Sonnet XLVI: In Search of Self-Truth
47 Sonnet XLVII: In Thought’s Own Maze
48 Sonnet XLVIII Beacon in the Twilight: Robert Jasper
49 Sonnet XLIX: The Poet’s Stormy Quest
50 Sonnet L: Echoes of the Asphalt Jungle
51 Sonnet LI: Discordant Amsterdam Nights
52 Sonnet LII: The Unfinished Text
53 Sonnet LIII: Invisible Landscapes
54 Sonnet LIV: Underworld Illuminations
55 Sonnet LV: The Magreb’s Shadow
56 Sonnet LVI: Stellar Ambitions

Fifth Wreath of Sonnets: Magistral

57 Sonnet LVII: A Dutch Boy’s Plight
58 Sonnet LVIII: The Ashes of Greed
59 Sonnet LIX: Light Amidst Darkness
60 Sonnet LX: Amsterdam’s Dark Veil
61 Sonnet LXI: The Ashtray’s Transformation
62 Sonnet LXII: The Light Bearer’s Presence
63 Sonnet LXIII: In the Darkness, There is Light
64 Sonnet LXIV: The Coming of Christ
65 Sonnet LXV: The Happening in Community
66 Sonnet LXVI: The Call to Unity
67 Sonnet LXVII: Total Theatre
68 Sonnet LXVIII: The Journey of Imagination
69 Sonnet LXIX: The Hidden Pockets of the Dam
70 Sonnet LXX: The Fragility of Love

_______

finem libri I.

_______

Sonnets to Amsterdam

Discover the Heartbeat of Amsterdam in Poetry:

“Sonnets to Amsterdam, Volume I, Book I”

 

ISBN: 978-1-80352-764-2
Category: POETRY / Amsterdam / Sonnets

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Amsterdam through the lyrical beauty of sonnets. “Sonnets to Amsterdam, Volume I, Book I” captures the essence of this vibrant city with every line, offering readers a poetic journey like no other.

Book Details:

  • Trim Size: 5.250″ x 8.000″ (203mm x 133mm)

  • Interior: 75 Full Colour pages of original Amsterdam collages by the author.

  • Binding: Paperback, Perfect Bound

  • Cover Finish: Gloss

  • Page Count: 250 pages

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-80352-764-2

  • Spine Width: 0.52590 in

  • Weight: 0.584 lb (264.90 g)

Why You’ll Love It:

Captivating Sonnets: Each sonnet is a window into the soul of Amsterdam, reflecting its rich history, diverse culture, and the everyday beauty that defines this iconic city.

Vivid Imagery: Experience the vibrant streets, tranquil canals, and bustling markets through vivid imagery that brings Amsterdam to life on every page. Beautifully illustrated wtih 75 Full Colour pages of original Amsterdam collages by the author.

Perfect for Poetry Lovers: Whether you’re a long-time poetry enthusiast or new to the genre, these sonnets offer a fresh and engaging perspective on one of the world’s most beloved cities.

Beautiful Design: With its perfect bound paperback format and glossy cover, this book is as visually appealing as it is intellectually stimulating.

Order Your Copy Today!

Don’t miss out on this exquisite collection of sonnets that will transport you to the heart of Amsterdam. “Sonnets to Amsterdam, Volume I, Book I” is available now, perfect for your personal library or as a thoughtful gift for friends and family.

Embrace the Poetry of Amsterdam
ISBN: 978-1-80352-764-2

Get your copy today and let the journey begin!

#SonnetsToAmsterdam #Poetry #Amsterdam #BookLovers #NewRelease #HarryMatthews #HarryArtPublishing
12-APR-24

Literature & Arts Special Issue

In the pastoral heart of Staffordshire, Harry Matthews first encountered the allure of nature amidst a backdrop of early turmoil, before progressing through the academic portals of school in Shropshire and later, the University of Reading.

As a painter-poet, he imbues his book covers with the hues of his spirit. He traverses the opaque divide between anonymity and cult adoration, zealously maintaining his poetic independence while honing his artistic voice.

Matthews crafts a tapestry of dichotomies, summoning both the strange and the splendid, a bard with a yearning for truth and wisdom. He delves into his own existence to inspire his poetic profundities. He is also a doctoral researcher of Richard Barnfield, emerging with revelations that cast light on a neglected early modern poet. His involvement in a Roman symposium, a confluence of the poetic and the scholarly, offered a peek into his curious intellect.

His verse? A maelstrom of change, where experience and insight is transmuted by the spark of creativity. It’s a tamed odyssey across the planes of reality, as intricate and winding as the creativity that propels it – Matthews is, above all, a poet who infuses words with fervor.

In his second collection, “Twynd”, he dances with the unexpected, finding triumph in defeat, wisdom in hidden folds of hope. “Hyperion” is a symphony of divine fire, a tragic tapestry woven with love and loss: Baffled plumbs the depths of self and other, where reality and fiction blur in a poetic embrace.

His alliterative prowess in “Woodwose” – it’s a rhythmic incantation, reverberates through the soul. Each line, a line  is a dance of sound and sense, evoking enchanting apprehsnions of surreal and natural beauty.

In “Idylls of the Nympahi” – Matthews captures the ephemeral, the fleeting moments of natural splendour in verses that echo the subtle power of nature. Nephele paints a world reborn in sunlight, tracing a path down to the sea, a silent illumination.

But who is Harry Matthews? He’s an enigmatic man, a poet and a scholar. His poetry embodies every contradiction and paradox on the edge of light and darkness.

His poetry is a journey of the heart, exploring the mysterious depths of allusion and metaphor. In Matthews’ world, the thunderous roar of the sea is a muffled echo within us, a call to the wild that resides in every heart.

His poems are not just written; they are felt, discovered, and unravelled. Each reading is an act of pleasure, a communal unearthing of hidden complexities. Whether read aloud or in the quiet solitude of the mind, Matthews’ poetry is a profound experience, a celebration of life in all its beautiful contradictions.

Early Influences:

“My life started in the rural landscapes of Staffordshire, where I grew up amidst the wild things, crafting my own languages within the pages of an old atlas. My early years were more than just school; they were a crucible that shaped me into the poet and artist I am today. Post-university, I ventured abroad in search of the bizarre and the profound. Returning to Shropshire felt like a renaissance into the familiar yet mysterious—a journey of reacquaintance.”

Interplay of Poetry and Painting:

“In the primal dance of creation, poetry arises from the mind’s dark, fertile soil, and painting springs from the same untamed essence. As a hawk soars above the terrain, each form may yield to the other. Now, the hawk rests upon poetry, yet painting and poetry are akin to twin creatures questing for the same eternal verities within the heart’s wilderness.”

Contrasts in Poetry:

“In the labyrinth of my verses, I explore the duality of existence – the coexistence of the sacred and profane, light and shadow, the known and the unknowable. This dance of contrasts is akin to walking through the wilderness, seeking both the echo and the voice, to understand what can be revealed within the human soul.”

Prolific Writing and Maintaining Quality:

“The journey from conception to fruition of a poem may span from the brief flicker of a candle to the enduring glow of the northern lights. My ninth collection, “Awaken in Seascape”, was written in my spare time, over the course a year, while engaged in academic research.”

Transfigurative Poetry:

“Transfiguration in poetry is, to me, an alchemy that turns the mundane into the sublime, the ordinary into the divine. It is a pursuit to encapsulate the ephemeral beauty of the world and to immortalise the transient through the crucible of language.”

Unconventional Writing Style:

Being a transformative poet means venturing beyond conventional boundaries. It is a pilgrimage across the barren landscape of language and form. To captivate with unconventionality is to beguile and seize the reader’s attention, guiding them through unknown realms with the allure of discovery, epiphany, awakening and wonder.”

Significant Works:

“‘Hyperion’ emerges from the crucible of personal anguish, a forge where simplicity is the highest form of sophistication. It’s a work that distils complex emotions into a purer, more accessible form, reflective of life’s profoundest truths.”

Capturing Reality:

“Poetry, my sanctuary, is the lens through which the chaos of reality is distilled into clarity. It’s the heart’s eye, capturing the world not as it is, but as it’s felt and imagined, a bridge spanning the chasm between the tangible and the ineffable.”

Influence of Scholarly Background:

“My academic pursuits in early modern poetry are but a facet of my language’s prism. While they inform my forays into the surreal and mystical, my poetry often transcends scholarly boundaries to capture a reality that is as bewildering as it is beguiling, seeking to unify the paradoxical and liberate the unseen.”

Advice to Aspiring Poets:

“For those embarking on the poet’s journey, remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Embrace both the rigors of discipline and the chaos of creativity. Study the masters, wrestle with the rules, then let your unique voice soar on the wings of unfettered expression.”

Dream Collaboration:

“To collaborate with Taliesin, the ancient bard, would be to drink from a wellspring of primal creativity. Yet, a fusion with a fantasy writer for a young adult audience promises a delightful foray into realms unbound by the fetters of adult cynicism.”

Recognition by Magazine:

“The recognition by Voraka Magazine is a gratifying nod to the labour of love that each collection represents. It’s not just about reaching a wider audience; it’s about connecting, reappraising, the shared human experience that poetry, at its best, can evoke – be it a chuckle or a tear, a nod of understanding, or a gasp of surprise, or a grasp of realisation.”

Barnfield Conference 2023

Conference Review: “LIVING FAME NO FORTUNE CAN CONFOUND”: RICHARD BARNFIELD’S LEGACY

The Richard Barnfield Legacy Conference, held at Sapienza University of Rome from February 9th to 10th, 2023, presented a remarkable array of scholarly work, analysing the intricate aspects of Richard Barnfield’s poetry and influence. My own contribution was the presentation of the paper titled ‘”Otherwise (then) In Truth I meant”: Homoeroticism in Richard Barnfield’s Poetry,’ delivered on February 10th at 10 am. This session was expertly chaired by Professor Andrew Hadfield of Sussex University.

The paper’s exploration of homoerotic themes within Barnfield’s work was both insightful and thought-provoking, offering a fresh perspective on the poet’s legacy. The presentation skilfully navigated complex literary analysis, making a compelling case for re-examining the undercurrents of Barnfield’s poetry through the lens of homoeroticism.

Audience engagement was notably high during this session, with the paper receiving an overwhelmingly positive response. The depth of research and eloquence in delivery marked this presentation as a significant contribution to the conference. It not only enriched the attendees’ understanding of Barnfield’s work but also sparked lively discussions and debates, further emphasising the paper’s impact.

The success of so many fascinating papers at the conference is a testament to the ongoing relevance of Richard Barnfield’s poetry in contemporary literary studies. Updates from the conference were actively shared on Twitter under @BarnfieldConf23, fostering a wider engagement with the academic community.

Overall, the “Living Fame No Fortune Can Confound”: Richard Barnfield’s Legacy Conference was a once in a generaton opporunity to celebrate the poetry of Richard Barnfield, and a memorable and valuable conference to the field of early modern literary studies.

Idylls of the Nymphai from a Mantic Coracle

Dive into the Mystical World of Harry Matthews’  “Idylls of the Nymphai”

Publisher: Harry Art Publishing; First Printing Edition (1 Nov. 2021)
Language: English
Paperback: 136 pages
ISBN-10: 1800681623
ISBN-13: 978-1800681620
Dimensions: 12.85 x 0.74 x 19.84 cm

Discover the Magic:

Embark on an esoteric voyage with Harry Matthews’ eighth poetry collection, “Idylls of the Nymphai.” This anthology is a profound exploration into the realms of divination and the sacred, skillfully blending Greek mantic lore with the Shinto tradition of Futomani. Imagine the psychedelic escapades of Hunter S. Thompson infused with the spiritual depth of Yeats and Thomas Merton – this is the journey Matthews invites you to take.

The Coracle as a Spiritual Vessel:

The collection opens with the coracle, a humble Welsh fisherman’s craft, transformed into a spiritual vessel. This metaphor echoes Yeats’ gyres, capturing tales of faith and vulnerability. Matthews navigates the tumultuous waters of life, surrendering to divine currents, akin to the Celtic saints’ pursuit of grace and deliverance.

A Poetic Call for Surrender:

Infused with radical energy and visionary zeal, Matthews’ poetic voice calls readers to relinquish control and trust in a divine plan. Each poem is a metaphorical journey, steered by inspiration and divine will, guiding you through both storms and calm seas.

Echoes of Theocritus and Rustic Pastoral:

Throughout the collection, the essence of Theocritus’ idylls breathes life into Matthews’ work, capturing the rustic and pastoral. Each poem acts as a divination, bringing readers closer to the ineffable and paying tribute to the spirits of the natural world.

A Journey of Transcendence and Awakening:

Matthews beckons you on a journey towards spiritual enlightenment, reminiscent of the Celtic monks’ path. The coracle symbolizes a journey towards spiritual resurrection, making “Idylls of the Nymphai” not just a collection of poems but a spiritual odyssey steeped in ancient traditions and eternal truths.

Praise for “Idylls of the Nymphai”:

Opening “Idylls of the Nymphai” is like stepping into a sacred grove where each poem is an act of worship. Matthews crafts a colorful tapestry of natural beauty with vivid, almost hallucinogenic language in poems like “Alseid” and “Auloniad.”
His poetry is mysterious and allusive, inviting readers to explore its complexities. Matthews’ unique voice and innovative use of language make this collection an immersive journey into his richly imagined world.

Why You’ll Love It:

Engaging and Eccentric: Harry Matthews stands out as an engaging eccentric and wit in contemporary poetry, fearlessly delving into the surreal.

Astonishingly Beautiful: This collection offers a profound exploration of reality, as rich and complex as Matthews’ own vivid imagination.

Brilliantly Rendered: “Idylls of the Nymphai” is a testament to Matthews’ significant voice in modern poetry, making it a must-have for poetry lovers and seekers of spiritual enlightenment.

Order Your Copy Today!

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary work. “Idylls of the Nymphai” is available now, ready to take you on a mesmerizing journey through the mystical waters of Harry Matthews’ imagination.

Embrace the Magic of “Idylls of the Nymphai”
ISBN-10: 1800681623 | ISBN-13: 978-1800681620

#IdyllsOfTheNymphai #HarryMatthews #PoetryCollection #MysticalJourney #NewRelease #PoetryLovers #SpiritualOdyssey #ModernPoetry #harryartpublishing

“Idylls of the Nymphai from a Mantic Coracle.”

True to the God in You

“True to the God in You” by Harry Matthews is a profound collection of poems that dives deep into the exploration of self, the divine, and the intricate relationship between them. Matthews’ work is a blend of spiritual introspection and vivid imagery, evoking a strong sense of connection between the individual self, the collective human experience, and the divine.

The collection starts with a powerful preface, setting the tone for a journey of self-realisation and spiritual awakening. Matthews skilfully intertwines themes of strength, loyalty, courage, and sacrifice, presenting them as essential components in the pursuit of understanding and aligning with the divine.

Throughout the poems, Matthews exhibits a remarkable ability to draw from various religious and spiritual traditions, particularly Islamic mysticism. His references to the Quranic notions of love and mercy provide a fresh perspective on these concepts, transcending traditional interpretations.

One of the most striking aspects of Matthews’ poetry is his use of natural imagery to depict spiritual and emotional states. This is evident in poems like “On the Pleasures of Sunbathing” and “On Conversing with Blackbirds,” where mundane activities or observations become metaphors for deeper spiritual truths.

The collection also delves into the human condition, exploring emotions such as love, grief, and defiance. Matthews shows a keen understanding of these experiences, always connecting them back to the overarching theme of divine presence and guidance.

In conclusion, “True to the God in You” is a compelling and thought-provoking collection that encourages readers to seek a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the divine scheme. Matthews’ poetic voice is both unique and universal, making this collection a valuable addition to contemporary spiritual literature.

The Lost Shadow of Things

“The Lost Shadow of Things” by Harry Matthews is a captivating collection of poetry that delves into the depths of human emotion, exploring themes of love, loss, conflict, and the complexities of the human psyche. The poems, characterised by their rich imagery and profound insights, offer a journey through various landscapes of the heart and mind.

Final Warning is a powerful opening to the collection, immediately immersing the reader in a world of emotional turmoil and defiance. The poet’s use of vivid imagery to convey feelings of anger and frustration is striking. The lines “If you crowd my peace, teeth gnashing in anger, / I will muster the last of my strength” are particularly impactful, illustrating the poet’s desperation and readiness to confront his adversaries.

Dawn of the Holy Cloud shifts to a more ethereal and introspective tone. The poem beautifully juxtaposes the natural world with the inner tumult of the speaker. The imagery of “Lightning carves the moistened air, / A paradox of fire and mist” creates a vivid picture of internal conflict and transformation.

Bottoms-Up offers a more hopeful perspective, focusing on renewal and the transformative power of love. The poem’s optimistic tone is encapsulated in the lines “It’s a cleansing of pain, a revival of memory, / Yet, what remains is not merely a recollection, / But a transformation.”

The Neo-Platonic Cave Philosopher stands out for its philosophical depth, exploring the complex relationship between reality and perception. The poem skilfully intertwines classical references with personal introspection.

Toward the Peak of Parnassus: is a poignant piece, touching on themes of support and understanding. The imagery of being “crowned with white roses” and seeking comfort in the Muses’ grace is particularly evocative. The poet creates a sanctuary of comfort and healing. The imagery of being crowned with white roses and seeking solace from the Muses adds a classical and serene touch to the poem.

Wispily Chronicling the Pizazz is notable for its whimsical and slightly surreal imagery. The playful tone, alongside references to academic and fantastical elements, creates a unique narrative style.

The Dolphin Race Fiasco is a narrative-driven piece that beautifully captures an interaction with nature and the unexpected. The encounter with the whale and the subsequent introspection of the speaker add layers of depth to the poem.

The Paladin’s Creed uncovers the archetype of the Paladin, blending elements of chivalry, spirituality, and heroism. The vivid imagery and strong narrative voice make this a compelling read.

Harry Matthews’ “The Lost Shadow of Things” is a profound and beautifully crafted collection, each poem brings its unique voice and style, creating a diverse and engaging reading experience. The poet deftly navigates a range of emotions and themes, from introspection and philosophical musing to vivid storytelling and nature imagery. Indeed, the poet’s skill in weaving intricate images and metaphors creates a mesmerising tapestry of words that stays with the reader long after the last page is turned. The collection as a whole is a testament to the poet’s versatility and depth, offering readers a rich and varied poetic journey.

The Lost Shadow of Things

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry Matthews (31 Dec. 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 106 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838349847
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838349844
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.85 x 0.64 x 19.84 cm

Woodwose

“Woodwose” is a collection that looks at the Woodwose, an archetypal figure representing untamed, natural instinct and spirituality. The preface describes the Woodwose as a wild, hairy creature living in the woods, embodying ancient Greek ‘thymus’ or spiritedness. It suggests that modern society’s suppression of this wild, natural aspect leads to imbalance and spiritual sickness. The Woodwose symbolises a connection to nature and instinct, contrasting with society’s emphasis on science, rationality, and materialism.

The literary style of “Woodwose” is varied, encompassing both prose and poetry, with themes revolving around nature, spirituality, and the human psyche. Poems like “Since I’m addicted to you,” “Pericles,” “The Night we met,” and others, explore intense emotions, spiritual reflections, and a profound connection with nature. These pieces often juxtapose human experiences with natural elements, suggesting a deep, intrinsic link between humans and the natural world.

The collection frequently touches upon themes of love, struggle, transformation, and the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Poems such as “What was once unhealed was disclosed,” “How to look forward to the rocky bluff,” and “Your indwelling spark from the third heaven speaks,” reflect on personal growth, inner conflicts, and the journey towards spiritual awakening.

“Woodwose” also incorporates elements of folklore, myth, and symbolism. For instance, poems like “Remaining in the land of sorrow” and “Is this the young man’s shortest precept?” use imagery and allegory to convey complex emotional and spiritual states, often blending the mystical with the everyday.

The collection’s tone ranges from contemplative and introspective to passionate and intense. It invites readers to consider deeper aspects of existence, such as the balance between nature and civilisation, the inner wilderness of the human psyche, and the pursuit of truth and authenticity in a materialistic world.

In summary, “Woodwose” is a rich, multifaceted work that combines poetry and prose to explore the theme of the wild, natural self versus societal norms and constraints. It offers a profound reflection on human nature, spirituality, and our connection to the natural world, encouraging readers to embrace their inner Woodwose – the untamed, instinctual part of themselves.

 

Hyperion

Reviewing these poems, one encounters a rich tapestry of emotion, introspection, and philosophical exploration. They range from the melancholic and introspective to the powerful and socially critical, reflecting a deep engagement with both personal and broader human experiences.

Epigraph (John Keats, Hyperion: A Fragment, Book III. (1819))

This excerpt from Keats’s “Hyperion” resonates with a profound sense of melancholy and existential questioning. The speaker feels weighed down by an inexplicable sadness, yearning for a lost sense of freedom and purpose. Keats’s use of language and imagery captures a deep sense of longing and the pain of unrealised potential.

The Great Physician

This poem explores themes of longing, fulfilment, and the search for meaning in life. The imagery of driving through a storm towards a lake symbolises a journey through turmoil towards peace or clarity. The poem’s conclusion, suggesting that true resolution comes through a form of metaphorical death, hints at the idea of rebirth or transformation as a path to overcoming inner conflicts.

Hyperion

This poem is a complex meditation on divinity, knowledge, and the human condition. The references to a ‘super brain’, ‘Divine Holograms’, and the ‘Central Sun’ are particularly evocative, suggesting a search for a higher understanding or connection. The poem grapples with the nature of God and the human quest for enlightenment, blending scientific and spiritual imagery in a compelling way.

Dark Fire

“Dark Fire” delves into the intensity of passion and love, using vivid imagery to describe a deep and consuming relationship. The poem transitions from joyous celebration to a darker, more reflective tone, questioning the lasting impact of such intense emotions. The use of contrasting images like ‘bright burning firework’ and ‘dark fire’ effectively captures the complexities of love and desire.

You’re Still End

This poem reflects on identity, destiny, and the inexorable march towards an end, possibly death. It speaks to the shared human condition, the unavoidable nature of change, and the search for meaning in the face of these realities. The poem’s sombre tone suggests a resignation to fate, while also acknowledging the power of human emotions and experiences.

Lumpenproletarian

Here, the poet offers a critical view of societal structures and class distinctions, using the term ‘chavs’ to represent a marginalised group. The poem seems to critique both societal views of this group and the group’s own internal struggles. The imagery of ‘hooded monks’ and ‘dark-skinned and cold’ individuals suggests a complex interplay between societal perceptions and personal identity.

Striving in the Path of God

This poem explores themes of moral judgment, societal control, and the struggle between higher ideals and base instincts. The imagery of ‘invisible policemen’ and the ‘edifice teeters’ suggests a conflict between societal order and personal freedom. The poem’s intense and sometimes violent imagery reflects a deep engagement with the challenges of living a moral life in a complex world.

Overall, these poems by Harry Matthews offer a rich exploration of human emotion, existential struggle, and the quest for meaning. They blend personal introspection with broader social commentary, using vivid imagery and powerful language to engage the reader on multiple levels.

Hyperion 

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry Matthews (29 Dec. 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 78 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838349812
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838349813
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.85 x 0.48 x 19.84 cm

Twynd

This is a collection of poems where words dance between the profound and the ethereal, “Twynd” by Harry Matthews emerges as a collection that transcends the ordinary. The title itself, a lexical curiosity, sets the tone for a journey through language, history, and emotion. Rooted in the English language as the longest word without traditional vowels, ‘Twynd” serves as a metaphor for the unique and the rare, much like the poems contained within these pages.

As readers delve into this collection, they will find themselves traversing diverse landscapes – from the introspective depths of ‘Belle Vue’ to the historical echoes in ‘Diddlebury.’ Each poem is a world unto itself, yet together they weave a tapestry rich in imagery and emotion.

Highlights of this collection include: ‘Blue Bell,’ a poetic testament to resilience, where nature’s simple beauty becomes a profound metaphor for human strength and endurance; ‘Chosen,’ which soars in spiritual realms, exploring freedom and elevation from earthly confines to celestial expanses; the historical narrative of ‘Diddlebury,’ paints a vivid portrait of a village where time moves in whispers and every stone holds a story; ‘Halcyon,’ a piece where mythology and nature merge, offers a story of love, loss, and the enduring power of legends.

‘Otter’ by Matthews is a mesmerising six-part poem that elegantly captures the otter’s essence, celebrating its grace and connection with nature. The poem vividly portrays the otter’s life through exquisite imagery: from its sleek movement, described as “muscles rippling like liquid silk,” to its enchanting nocturnal swims under a moonlit sky, “a silent ballet under the stars.” It delves into the otter’s sensory world with lines like “With a connoisseur’s tongue, he savours his catch,” and reflects on the profound, almost mystical bond between human and animal, “In your touch, a squeak of delight, an echo of the wild.” The line, “Your essence, small-clawed navigator of life’s undulations, teaches joy in simplicity.” – beautifully encapsulates the essence of the otter and its life lessons for humans. Through these snapshots, Matthews not only showcases the otter’s beauty and adaptability but also imparts life lessons on simplicity and joy. This poem stands as a vivid testament to the untouched splendour of the natural world.

‘Kingfisher’ stands as a metaphor for purposeful living, drawing parallels between the keen, focused existence of the kingfisher and human aspirations. Matthews uses the bird as a symbol of clarity and direction, encouraging a contemplative approach to life. The poem resonates with anyone seeking a deeper meaning in the everyday. “Like the kingfisher, perched in silent watch, / Not in idleness, but in keen anticipation; / A mind crystalised in purpose.”

‘Confirmation’ dives into the complex journey of maturing and self-discovery. The poem navigates through the trials of youth, rebellion, and the eventual emergence of personal identity. Matthews’ exploration of the internal conflicts faced during the transition to adulthood is both poignant and relatable. “In the shadow of elders, he finds a twisted sanctuary, / Echoing the very bonds he loathes, a paradox of revolt.”

In ‘Expect the Unexpected,’ Matthews speaks to the heart of the adventurous and the resilient. The poem serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of life and the potential within to adapt and grow. It’s an uplifting piece, encouraging readers to embrace the unexpected twists and turns of their personal journeys. “Your journey is to new lands, / Where dormant strengths awaken, / Stirring from their deep slumber.”

‘Drømmeland’ takes readers on a whimsical journey through dreams and memories. The poem is a celebration of youth and the enduring spirit of joy and wonder. Matthews’ evocative language and vibrant imagery create a dream-like atmosphere that lingers in the mind long after reading. “Travels in Dreamland, / Beyond the possible and known. / The wave crashing on the beach, / A young man laughing.”

‘By the River Severn By Night’ is a serene and contemplative piece, reflecting on nature’s beauty and its capacity to evoke deep, introspective thought. Matthews’ description of the landscape around the River Severn is both picturesque and profound, capturing the tranquillity of nature and its subtle teachings. “In the shadow of Wrekin’s rise, under a winter sky, liberated yet laden with wisdom, the sun shares its silent sermon.”

These poems from “Twynd” further demonstrate Harry Matthews’ remarkable range as a poet. His ability to weave together elements of nature, personal growth, and deep contemplation creates a collection that is both diverse and cohesive, offering something for every reader who ventures into its pages.

This collection is recommended for readers who seek poetry that challenges and comforts, that reflects the complexities of the human experience and the nuanced beauty of the world around us. It is a journey for those who appreciate the power of words to convey the inexpressible and to capture the fleeting moments of life.

“Twynd” is not just a collection of poems; it is an odyssey through varied emotional landscapes. Matthews masterfully blends historical depth with personal introspection, mythological echoes with stark realism, creating a symphony of words that resonate with the soul.

What emerges in “Twynd” is an invitation to explore the corners of your heart and the edges of your imagination, guided by the lyrical prowess of Harry Matthews. Embrace this journey, and let these poems be your compass in the ever-unfolding map of human experience.

Sonarification

In his debut poetry collection, “Sonarification,” Harry Matthews explores the profound parallels between the world of underwater sonar navigation and the poetic process. This collection is an exploration of the echoes and reverberations of human experience, resonating through the depths of memory, imagination, and the subconscious.

The concept of Sonarification, as Matthews presents it, is a metaphor for the poet’s journey. Just as sonar emits sound waves to explore and understand the unseen depths of the ocean, Matthews uses his poetry to navigate the often uncharted waters of human emotion and experience. Each poem is a ‘ping’ sent out into the depths of the psyche, with the echoes that return painting a vivid picture of the poet’s internal landscape.

The collection is divided into sections, each resonating with a different frequency of the human experience. From the infrasonic rumbles of deep, unspoken emotions to the ultrasonic clarity of sharp, conscious thought, Matthews captures a spectrum of feelings and thoughts that often remain submerged beneath the surface of everyday life.

Sonarification also touches on the impact of human technologies on the natural world, particularly marine life. The poems echo the dissonance between the natural biosonar of dolphins and whales and the disruptive frequencies of man-made sonar. Matthews draws a poignant parallel here, suggesting that just as sonar can disorient marine life, so too can the cacophony of modern life drown out the inner voice and truth of human beings.

This collection is a journey into the depths, encouraging readers to listen to the echoes of their own inner sonar. Matthews’ poetry serves as a guide, leading readers through the dark waters of the unknown and the unexpressed, towards a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Sonarification is not just a collection of poems; it’s an invitation to listen more closely to the world within and around us, to discover what lies beneath the surface, waiting to be understood and explored. Harry Matthews, with his striking imagery and profound insight, emerges as a significant new voice in contemporary poetry.

Sonarification
  • Title: Sonarification
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry Matthews (24 Dec. 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 126 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838349804
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838349806
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.85 x 0.76 x 19.84 cm

Review: Sonarification (Poems I-XXII)

Review: Sonarification (Poems XXII-XLVIII)

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