Poetry of love and physics

Love, Stars, and Paradigms. Poems by Swarn Gill. Literary Revelations Press, 2023.

Reviewed by Gary Gautier

Swarn Gill’s book of poems has a bit of everything, from politics to interesting conceptual hooks (“the love of time not noticed”; “we are the moment time vibrates”; “your life / in a groove no wider than a dime”) to the one-lining bravado of Allen Ginsberg (“Melville’s Ahab’s got nothing on me”; “capitalism has its eye on you”). Mostly though, these are intimate poems of human feeling, best when they settle into pockets of suggestive imagery (“a galaxy of gold / through curved lenses / of glass and tissue”). Interestingly, the intimacy is sometimes carried in panoramic Whitmanesque sweeps (“static electricity felt everywhere … the trees, the towers / the peaceful church steeples / me standing tall in a field”; “my carbon is breathed in the trees … I glide through time with magnificent ease.” Or in the imagery of physics and astronomy (“the quartz of you / crystallizing before my eyes”; “I rotate on my axis”; “I marvel at Saturn’s rings”). The collection was a little uneven for me – some poems captivated me less than others, and I struggled at times with the rhyming poems – but I found it strong overall, with lots of poems and hooks and closures I will long remember. Definitely worth reading more than once.

prostrate me
among the daisies
let emerald butterflies
send me to slumber

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Two poems in Literary Revelations

Thanks to Gabriela Marie Milton for publishing two of my poems in Literary Revelations!

Hero and Leander (the lamp and the water)
At the Mirador in Noria Alta


Make sure to browse the books and journal at Literary Revelations, an independent publishing house with good people and a real commitment to the arts and literature community.

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