Comments on Emmy Smith's poems
If you are commenting on a particular poem, please specify which one.
- Africa Jam: I sometimes wonder if there is any scope for creativity with 'iambic pentameter' outside Shakespeare, but this poem shows that there is. It's intriguing how, so often, the constraint of a poetic metre can be a route to creative freedom, and I was struck by the use of metre here, for a subject that might otherwise suggest a more tribal or primal beat. It is a successful way of showing that, like the poetic lyrics to Toto's 1980s song 'Africa', 'Africa Jam' is not so much about Africa as about the speaker. I didn't feel that all the lines worked ('aching legs and breaking joints' makes me think of people line-dancing to 'Achy Breaky Heart', I'm afraid!), but there are some very inspired, expressive moments in the poem (the last two lines work well). (It probably helps, as well, that I know what the 'Africa Jam' event is.) I look forward to more such poems.
Back to top
Close this window to return to the poems