B. Z. Niditch has been a feature on Poet Hound before, check out my interview with him about his collection called Portraits Here: B. Z. Niditch's Portraits
Mr. Niditch’s book, Boston, Fall and Other Poems was published by Encircle Publications, LLC in 2008 and is based out of his experiences in Harvard and places around Massachusetts. The poems are divided into two parts, Part I is titled Harvard Square, Part II is titled Diary. The poems in both sections are beautiful and expressive while encompassing small moments around campus or on the water. Below I will share some small samples:
In a poem titled “Public Gardens” I am enchanted by the sight described by Niditch: “planting your steps/by sacks of rose petals/in public gardens,/noon day seems endless/and a friend waits up.” I can’t help but wonder what the sacks of rose petals are for while he watches his friend and ends this short poem with “for a deafened half-hour/your arms are sealed/by wheel barrels/or rose tattoos.” I like the image of “rose tattoos” of petals clinging to bare arms as they are carried. It is a moment in time that leaves me wanting more.
In “Diary” the lines begin as “By the troubled river/you write Tuesday/on footsteps of a page/the charred diary/moves to the opposite shore/of flagging remorse…” I wonder if the diary is the owner’s or has been recently discovered. Again, Mr. Niditch reveals just enough and uses interesting images such as “on footsteps of a page” to entice us to read further. The one holding the diary is looking out on the water “in regret,/watching sparrows/…on an abandoned landscape/” and Niditch continues to observe in silence “you touch the water/with your tender fingertips/in clumsiness of enigmas/and feel hatless/and anonymous/to your own signature.” This is how he concludes the poem, he ends it in a way I think we can all relate to when we are feeling sad or lost. “anonymous/to your own signature” are powerful words as they sink in. This is another poem that says just enough and leaves me wanting more of the story.
“The Insomniac” is a clever description of a sleepless night which made me smile. The entire first stanza is superb but I will give just the tail end of it: “flashlights play with you/trembling, “time out”/and the alarm clock/refuses to speak.” Any sleepless night means frequent glances at the alarm clock and the endless consternation of time passing slower and slower. Those lines are a perfect portrayal. The second stanza is just as superb but of course I can only give you a small piece: “tossing from sea beds/rolled in blankets/of deafened nights/bent over sleepy wilderness.” You can easily liken the rolling, restless slumberer to rolling in underwater “sea beds” or being lost in the imaginary “sleepy wilderness.” His words allow your imagination to run while also evoking empathy for the insomniac in the poem.
If you enjoyed this review you will be happy to know this book is still available at Encircle Publications for just under $12.00. I hope that you will enjoy these beautiful poems as much as I do and it may be in your local library, so it would be worth taking a look.
Thanks always for reading, please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…