A review of Metaphor Issue 5 edited by April Mae M. Berza

Reviewed by Lorraine Currelley

Metaphor Issue 5, A quarterly journal of modern and contemporary poetry
Edited by April Mae M. Berza
April 12, 2016, Paperback: 52 pages
ISBN -13: 978-1530000609
ISBN -10: 1530000602

Contributors Gary Beck, Pushkar Bisht, Edward D. Currelley, Holly Day, Richard Doiron, Gregg Dotoli, Michael Enevoldsen, Alan Garfoot, Peter Halliday, Ed Higgins, Steve Hood, Ivan Jenson, Hal O’Leary, David Miller, Nancy Anne Miller, M.V.L. Narasamamba , Rony Nair, Irsa Ruci, Carol Smallwood, and David Glen-Smith

The editor of Metaphor Issue 5 has succeeded in assembling a group of fine poets. Poets representing a volume of diverse voices. Poems in this volume are varied. Some are philosophical, addressing social justice and others speak to our daily lives and myriad experiences. The writing is esthetically rich in content and well crafted.

In the poem “Unmelting Pot” by Gary Beck, the poet is unapologetic in its message.
Beck writes passionately about his subject matter. He brings poverty, wealth and class
center stage. We are presented with inequities rooted in divisions of class. There is no
hiding place, nor mixing of words nor compromise:

However different, cities across the world
have much in common,
enclaves for the rich,
business districts,
slums for the poor.

First-world countries
have a well-to-do middle class,
periodic victims
of their economic betters,
nurtured on the philosophy
that acquisition
at the expense of others
is a moral imperative.

The last stanza is unrelenting and powerful in its brutal truth. In “Unmelting Pot” Beck becomes the people’s poet, a voice for the marginalized.

In his poem “Magical Mornings at the Gazebo” poet Edward D. Currelley speaks
fondly and longingly for the time when he will once again be reunited with a gazebo.
His words are passionate, earnest, descriptive and beautifully metaphorical. We are
delivered gently into a lover’s description of his beloved. Our imaginations run freely
and we wonder is the gazebo a metaphor for a beloved woman? Currelley uses persona in “Magical Mornings at the Gazebo”:

At the sound of bells and the smell of fresh brewed coffee, I awaken knowing that you’re out there, waiting, ready to embrace all.

Selfishly I like to be first. Standing in your hollow, feeling the warmth. Just you and me
surrounded by mountains watching as the sun rise, ice from up north floating down the
Hudson.

Currelley is generous, giving us room to explore. He knows we will acknowledge the
gazebo. However, we are left to our imaginations, interpretations and allowed to draw our individual conclusions.

”Never Was” by Holly Day is a hauntingly wonderful poem. In her poem Day shares her
family’s grief. A grief resulting from a traumatic experience, the lost of a child that was
never born, her older sibling. A loss that wedded her parents. She invites us into this
grieving household. We join her in seeking answers to questions she has spent a life time trying to answer:

There was a baby that should have been born
before me, it was the baby
that made my father marry my mother
the baby disappeared soon after the wedding
lost in the inconsolable melancholy
that never left my mother’s eyes.

Poetically “Never Was” is well crafted and lyrical. Readers feel, acknowledge and are
empathetic. However, we are not taken on a dark and emotionally consuming journey. It is the readers understanding that is awakened. We want closure for her. We want answers to her questions and the uncertainty of her thoughts.

“O Grace, O Grace” by Pushkar Bisht is a wonderfully written poem. It’s one man’s
humble honor and song to grace. O Grace, O Grace is a celebration of this phenomenal
experience known as grace. Pushkar honors its existence and celebrates with those
who have come to know it:

O Grace, O Grace….
Your are beautiful that can’t be seen through external eyes
A pure heart needs you that bursts into tear and realize…
What a light, opens my heart and bring eternal delight
In whatever form you come to me, I will bend and pray on my
knees

About the reviewer: Lorraine Currelley is a poet, writer, activist, educator, storyteller, multimedia artist, mental health and grief and bereavement counselor. She’s the Founder/Executive Director of Poets Network & Exchange, Inc, a safe, positive and supportive space for poets and writers at all levels. She facilitates poetry and creative writing workshops, produces featured poetry readings, open mics, panel discussions and a scholar lecture series. She’s widely anthologized and the recipient of numerous honors. She resides in New York City. Find out more about Lorraine at: http://poetsnetworkandexchange.wordpress.com

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