Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stephen Cushman: Poet

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a reading by the poet Stephen Cushman from his new book, entitled Riffraff. Mr. Cushman entranced the audience with personal and relatable tales, as well as spell binding poetry. He writes in different forms of poetry, mostly non rhyming, and about a wide variety of things. Poems he read to us last night included the sky, his family and two sons, sailing, Egyptians, and other interesting topics which most people would never think to put in a poem. I enjoyed that he could bend and twist a poem to his liking, and he has quite a knack for metaphors that really make you think and are very original. I liked his humor and the way he interacted with everyone there, in a very casual and friendly way.

My favorite poem that he read was a new poem of his which he used to finish the reading. It was entitled "Small Craft Warning," and I loved everything about it. A shorter poem, it personified a flag, flapping in the wind, "one side of me lashed fast, the other flapping free." The poems attention to detail and beautiful word flow contributed to why I liked it, but I was caught by the amazing line, "the rumbled sea." For some reason that stuck out as my favorite line, although the entire poem was astounding. In fact, all the poems he read were wonderful, and I have resolved to get one of his books from the library as soon as possible.


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