MOTHER GOOSED by Nikolas Macioci
Nikolas Macioci has succeeded in taking Mother Goose Rhymes and bringing them up to date in a highly professional, free verse, fashion. His changes allow the mind to see the enlarged view of the rhyme, and to see it in a modern environment or at least a manner that enlarges the understanding of the message.Amazon USA
Nikolas Macioci has succeeded in taking Mother Goose Rhymes and bringing them up to date in a highly professional, free verse, fashion. His changes allow the mind to see the enlarged view of the rhyme, and to see it in a modern environment or at least a manner that enlarges the understanding of the message.
The First Mother Goose Rhyme he uses is
Little Miss Muffet
Little Miss Muffet
sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Then Macioci proceeds with his enlargement and interpretation:
WHEY TO GO
Amber afternoon rivers over her
auburn locks. Above, sycamore leaves,
eyelashes of mid-October, flutter
breezes. On a tuft of grass, each blade
snake-thick, Miss Muffet rumples down, sits
stern as good manners. Flowered bow at her neck,
gingham dress spread ladylike, she searches
in a wicker basket for a bowl and spoon.
Swallowing milky spheres of curd and whey,
she beams satisfaction. In the distance, a church bell
prods parishioners onto cobblestone streets,
and a swallow swoops a sharp turn toward noon.
Baxter, a spindly spider, belches
a fly, grabs footholds of unsteady descent.
Spoon to mouth, head bent to taste, she doesn’t see
the spider slip from shadow to shoulder.
His fuzzy fidget of legs stitches sudden
apprehension into her skin, and she stiffens
with fear. Needles of panic jab her
upright. Flinging the bowl skyward,
she bolts, dashing over a nearby knoll,
hysterical bonnet flying aloft,
petticoat sprinting toward the horizon.
I found this entrancing, along with the others, as it gave me a longer narrative on the same theme, not competitive but rather, highly creative and a way to bring the reader closer to an appreciation of the old antique rhymes, many of which are anachronistic in their antiquity.
What he did is unique. He enlarged upon rhymes almost unintelligible to modern readers. In fact, not of interest to most. But his poetry is of interest to the contemporary reader as we can see when we look beyond the following nursery rhyme :
The Cat and the Fiddle
Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
Firstly, beginning at the beginning we will end at the final poem ; at the final poem Cow and Moon, my favorite. So the amplification of the third line brings us a reach into the “cosmic”, leading us from the imaginary imagery of childhood into the world of Modern Surrealism with these lines :
a Holstein dances onto its hind legs,
vaults from the barnyard above shadowy
apple trees, climbs a cosmic ladder,
erases gravity in one ageless leap
into silk flight.
The rhythms and imagery of childhood verses have inspired poets such as Robert Louis Stevenson. Robert Louis Stevenson’s, A Child’s Garden of Verses, is poetry in which many a poem sounds like a nursery rhyme, but not any specific one. Of course, Stevenson wrote for children. However, I don’t believe anyone has tried to convert nursery rhymes into adult poetry. That is before R. Nikolas Macioci who does it so exceptionally well, creates his interpretations in fact with great skill, and who leaves room for all readership.
One can see a single Holstein or perhaps a cow-shaped spaceship rising into the sky ! The humor ! Cow or cow-ship with a “tail shining like a fragment of star.” We can ourselves imagine a space station which “floats there forever as common as a bird.” That is with my imagination. I’m certain you can see something more with your imagination !
And so, we find a book – beginning, middle, and ending definitely worth reading !
Review by Mary Barnet
Founder and Editor In Chief of PoetryMagazine.com
Nobel Nominated Author
Critique: Haiku for the 21st Century : The Haiku of Sayumi Kamakura (Cyberwit. 2018),
At the Top : The Haiku and Poetry of Ban’ya Natsuishi (Cyberwit, 2019)
Poetry: The Train I Rode (Gilford Press, 2018),
Sonnets for Today’s Readers (Gilford Press, 2019)