A Read of Monty Reid’s ‘In the Garden (jan unit)’

“In the Garden (jan unit)” Poems by Monty Reid (20 pages, The Red Ceilings Press)

 

In 12 brief poems (1 for each month on the calendar) Monty Reid spins a cycle that mixes mythology, science and confessional into a cautiously metaphysical package.

He doesn’t work the garden/gardening conceit itself too deeply, refraining from easy and obvious metaphor. His objective seems much looser and consciously ambiguous.

The cycle could be a conversation between friends or lovers planning to tend a patch of earth. It could a god engaging its creations on their mythology. It could even be read as a dialogue of the mind with itself and its own processes, played out in a slight, suburban pastoral.

What certainly is at work is a look at how we struggle to build the meaningful and the lasting in the face of existential doubt. “Maybe the snow/won’t melt” says the narrator in “February” alluding to this comfortable hesitation at even starting towards a goal.

Reid’s own creations are little more than loose collections of sentences – not the most rhythmically satisfying poetic form, but appropriate for a work that is more about struggling with the act of creation rather than fully inhabiting the role of progenitor. Which, to force a little conceit of our own, does make for an interesting crop of thought.

 

See: http://www.redceilings.blogspot.com

 

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