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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dialect and Poetry: Relections on Cultures

Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten EnglishA Collection of Verse
By Eliza Earsman
Genre: Poetry/politcal
ISBN: 9780955624810

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

In spite of the generic title, this collection of poems by Eliza Earsman is creative, experimental and unique.

I can't remember who said it recently--one of our US state's poet laureates, I think--that poets need to roam afar from the personal more often. Earsman does that, though the personal is always there.

For one thing her passion is evident. I think students of poetry might also study her use of dialect. It is especially interesting because she supplies a glossary of terms at the end of her poems to help the unitiated.

A book that Eliza and her readers might also find interesting (though they should not consider the title a reflection on Eliza's writing!) is [[ASIN:0393329607 Rotten English: A Literary Anthology]] by Dohra Ahmad. She is an academic who has done a fine job of showing why books like Eliza's are important. It's namesake, Rotten English [[ASIN:9782460028 Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English]] may also be of interest. Language is an amazing mirror to culture as these books and Eliza's demonstrate.

Eliza's book deserves five stars for its daring, both politcally and poetically.

The reviewer is the author of poetry chapbooks Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then and Tracings.

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