I Garden Weeds By Ethan Goffman
This new collection of poems is laid out into eight sections. The first one is entitled “Eternity Begins.” That really makes the reader wonder where exactly will these poems start out and what will they be about. If you’re going to use sections, and section titles in your poetry book, they do become a part of the cohesiveness of said book.Amazon USA
I Garden Weeds
By Ethan Goffman
Review by LB Sedlacek
This new collection of poems is laid out into eight sections. The first one is entitled “Eternity Begins.” That really makes the reader wonder where exactly will these poems start out and what will they be about. If you’re going to use sections, and section titles in your poetry book, they do become a part of the cohesiveness of said book.
The first poem in his collection is called “Everything is Everything.” The first line is “If they have an Everything Bagel, can a Theory of Everything be / far behind?” A profound question, statement and an interesting way to open up a book of poetry.
This poem goes on to discuss the question of everything. Poems can be used for so much, and certainly questioning things is a great part of poetry.
This section talks of Duke Ellington on YouTube, the indifferent nature of the Rubik’s Cube, Armstrong on the Moon and so on. So many things that people may or may not believe or will definitely question.
Another poem from this section is “An Infinitely Meaningless Poem” with the opening lines of “As the old song goes, “nothing is real” / but how can nothing be real when it’s the absence of something?” What is real? And what is real in one’s poem?
The other sections build upon the first with one of Earth and one on Humanity. He writes about a huge variety of subjects such as the pandemic, poetry and more.
From the poem “Poem in Limbo”:
“The somewhat important journal
where I sent my poem,
a desperate love letter
yearning for a great big YES,
will not answer its urgent plea.
There is no Yes,
There is no No,
There is only silence.”
If only there was a bureau for lost poems, or a home for all poems is the take away I get from reading this poem. It takes guts for a poet to write about poetry or even creating poems because of course the notion is you’re never supposed to do this. But if you are a poet, or write poems, then you should, you will end up writing about the process of writing in one or more poem sooner or later. Goffman has a skill at taking the art of writing poetry into verse. He has a couple of sections devoted to it.
He has a section where he writes nature poems. From the poem “Dirt”: A cornucopia of sensation / colorless / grainy and cool / fine, grainy chocolate / home / to worms.” You have to be clever to write about dirt! It’s a unique take on that subject.
Goffman has given us a well put together collection. He includes the title poem in the Coda section. In it, he compares gardening to writing poems. It’s true you have to nurture poetry, whether you read it or write it. All in all, it’s a good set of poems to read.
~LB Sedlacek’s latest poetry book is “Ghost Policy.” She is also the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “Words and Bones,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “Swim,” and “The Poet Next Door.” Her non-fiction books include “The Poet Protection Plan” and “Electric Melt: How to Write, Publish, Read Walt Whitman and Survive as a Writer and Poet). Her short story collection is entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories.” She writes poetry reviews for www.thepoetrymarket.com Find out more: www.lbsedlacek.com