Monday, August 24, 2009

City Above The Sea by Stephen Alan Saft

City Above The Sea And Other Poems by Stephen Alan Saft

In this collection of modern day poetry by author Stephen Alan Saft, we see the conceptualization of today's society and how overpopulation, technology, the environment, and even the basic pleasures of our world rule us all. There are a total of 34 poems written in a combination of free verse, blank verse, and rhyme- each with a distinct voice. Nearly every poem is written with a profound deepness, and often with that deepness comes an undeniable melancholy.

Take for instance Saft's Pushing Forty, found on page 57. This centers on a man examining his life as he gets older, finding that time is passing him by too quickly. Rather than being comfortable in his skin, he runs from the life he knows. Pushing away from family and friends, spiraling deeper into a mid-life crisis, the man abandons his life as he knows it to examine what else it may have to offer. It's possible to look at this and see the positive light, that the man is loooking to fulfil his dreams and not be brushed under the rug like a has been. Yet it's also depressing to think how he must have gotten there in the first place.

Certainly this and the other poems in this book provide food for thought. Even those with a lighter subject matter are full of richness and a unique poetic flair. While I found most of Saft's works to be highly expressive and moving, there was one in particular that stood out to me. This, my favorite among them all, was the third piece. Found on page 21, the arrangement titled The Cucumber Plant to the Sun reads like a love story. Bordering on slightly erotic, this poem examines, in vivid detail, the tryst between a cucumber plant and the sun. Saft expertly crafts the piece around what the cucumber plant is feeling in regards to its relationship with the sun. The expression is intense, and it ignites a personal and emotional stirring. As the cucumber's need and desire to be recognized and loved by the sun is shown, the reader can, in a very real way, relate. There's no denying that the composition emotes what many readers probably feel on a day to day basis, at least at some point in their lives. And the way in which it is presented is fresh and beautifully laid out.

I guess if I had to pick out one single overlying theme or idea expressed throughout this collection, it would be that the author wants to remind readers to never forget about what is to come tomorrow. No matter how many positives or negatives we face in our lives, there will almost always be another day. We, as a people, should strive to take pleasure in the moments we live in; likewise, we should take steps to ensure a good and pleasurable world for all the tomorrows yet to come.

~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC

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