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The Pequod
Dr Alistair Brown
Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more


Radio Ga Ga

Late at night, my hands in bitty suds
My windowed image set against the sky
The radio flashes reports of distant guns.
A horrid double pun, the news from them
Finds me as quickly as the lobbed shells arc
To their marks a mile (an earth) away. If I
Could slip between their wavelengths I think
I'd rumble up my verb-tank, and smash it through
A wall; I’d lob an angular noun to lodge
In mud, and kids would climb its ragged edges
And wonder what its fractured shape might tell
Its rounded d and sloping e, its jagged t and h.
My full-stop shells would unfold as they fell
To swinging question marks, a dropping line
Interrogating the aimless volleyed taunts.
But the radio’s jingle calls attention back
To myself, my verbals and my wrinkled hands
Doing the dishes, passing poetic time
In my revolutionarily flagrant mind.

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Your Comments on "Radio Ga Ga"

Name: Jayne    Website: http://bit.ly/cTjC5S    Date: November 22, 2010

Comment: Your poetry is wonderful. This poem is just a pleasure to read, you are clearly very gifted! I love the lines "I'd rumble up my verb-tank, and smash it through/A wall" it creates such wonderful imagery.

I have just started a poetry blog but feel too nervous to commit to it fully and put more work up...maybe the nerves will be beaten eventually! I suppose opinion is all subjective but the thought of exposing myself completely is slightly nervewracking. I suppose that's where a good psuedonym comes in!!

Name: De Waal Venter    Website: http://bit.ly/poeson    Date: March 27, 2010

Comment: Hello Ishmael,
I like your poem: N listening to Queen\'s song on the radio, washing dishes, and his (her?) thoughts take their own course. The strength of the poem lies in die metaphor of a word taking the shape of a tank shell and smashing into \"them\". The poem suggests that this word is \"death\". One infers that the war images are invoked in part by this section of the Radio Ga-Ga lyrics:

\"You gave them all those old time stars Through wars of worlds -- invaded by Mars\"

The poem falters a bit towards the end where \"full-stop shells\" and question marks are introduced. The metaphor is being overworked a trifle here, I think. Another problem I see here, is that the reader is uncertain at whom all this aggression is aimed - academia? fellow poets? the broad populace? Perhaps a rewrite should rectify these points. Although the poem is rounded off nicely by N coming out of his reverie and finding his hands full of suds, it is a bit of a let-down. In my opinion the poem\'s strongest point is the the word \"death\" being hurled into the \"midst of the \"enemy\". It would be gratifying if the poem could end at a dramatic high point like that.

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This page was published on June 15, 2008 | Keywords: Israel, Palestine, war, media

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