Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book Spine Poetry January 2014 Judge's Review

  • Last month, I posted Bebang Siy's choices of winners in our Book Spine Poetry Contest. Here is Ronald "Poy" Verzo's choice poems from the January batch of entries.
  • The Hours
  • After the Storm
  • And the Mountains Echoed
  • Someday this Pain Will Be Useful To You

  • I like this. Why? In only four book spines it was able to dramatize a catastrophe and how we learn from it. Let’s say, the Yolanda aftermath and how the pain it caused can help people become better. It can also say something about how people cope with problems, and how pain can be put into good use.  The imagery is concrete--the aftermath of a storm echoed by an image equally large and adamant as a mountain, giving strength and truth to a didactic closing line.
  • In the Country of Men
  • Seeking the Heart of Wisdom
  • Atlas Shrugged
  • …and a hard rain fell

  • Atlas, a man carrying the world on his shoulders, shrugging, as a reaction to man’s search for wisdom and greed for power, leads to hard times. A really powerful imagery to a very good commentary.
  • snow falling on cedars
  • unclean
  • unholy 
  • undead
  • in between the sheets
  • Of the Dawn of Freedom

  • It paints a dreary picture-- the snow falling on cedars described as unclean, unholy, and undead. And then it paints of something hidden between the sheets, which the words unclean, unholy, and undead could also refer to, something probably asleep, a freedom about to wake up from a dream.
  • Last Night I Dreamed of Peace
  • Looking Back
  • The First Escape
  • Before We Were Free
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • Jump
  • Fences
  • Shaking the Foundation

  • What I like is how the poem could speak of memory as a place of peace, how it could speak about history and the lessons from the struggles for freedom, and how it reflects and tries to define what a hero of today should be--and that is someone who overcomes barriers (jump fences) to shake the very foundation of things that are valued now, and probably help bring to mind what was the very foundation of our freedom.
  • Dear Bully
  • You say more than you think
  • Solitude
  • When No One Understands
  • The idea of evil
  • On Truth and Untruth
  • This I believe

  • It is refreshing to read something address something parochial, something which is not far from the concerns of an adolescent, and still make it matter.

  • Radiance
  • Piercing the Darkness
  • Savor the Word
  • Shiver
  • Before Ever After

  • I love the oxymoron—why that radiance, which is piercing the darkness, is described as wicked.

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