IVAN SCHNEEDORFER: THE HORIZON IS FAR AWAY
ISBN 1 896754 46 5
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|IVAN SCHNEEDORFER: THE HORIZON IS FAR AWAY|
These untitled works are headed with consecutive numbers and are handily placed one to a page. The author is approaching his 70th year.
Ivan Schneedorfer was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937 and moved to Canada in 1968. Today he lives in Tsawwassen, a coastal town near Vancouver.
Poem number 1 gives a flavour of what's on his mind:
yes my life is like an apple from which i peel the pastFrom one who
has written poems all his life, and has six published books.albeit written in Czech plus one bilingual publication THE SILENCE AFTER MUSIC in English/French I had expected something more imaginative in poem number 1 than
my life is like an appleWe live after all in an age when an onion is a poetic metaphor for love. But then maybe a Granny Smith is quaintly old fashioned; it has a meaning for the septuagenarian readership; a link to the past.
Much in this volume, with its falling skittle cover painting by Vlastimil Janicek, is strangely sublime. Take poem 46 for example. It's here in full:
the gentleman is fascinated he is gently elevated he is sitting in my chair with his head in another roomIn several of his poems Schneedorfer asks himself a question and then proceeds to answer it. Poem 12 is an example of the form. Here it is:
what do we see around us? the computerised world! we are not amused neither is the Lord.Schneedorfer comes up with some curious ideas. In poem 24 he writes:
i should spend more time with books i should make more love to themThere are 60 poems in here and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed well over half of them. The ones I've culled hopefully give an impression of the nuances, reflections and observations to be found throughout the collection.
In poem 5, previously published in the DELTA ANTHOLOGY OF PROSE AND POETRY 2002 Schneedorfer writes:
lucky me ... i'm invisible i'm wearing sunglassesThe portrait photo on the back cover confirms this impression. After reading this entertaining book I had the idea that I'd spent an hour or two listening to the ramblings of an old comrade at his hearth with perhaps a bottle of something between us. A couple of stray typos failed to spoil our fun.
I suspect that Ivan Schneedorfer will be entertaining us for a couple of decades to come. As he says of himself in poem 49:
by the time my bus gets home i'll be old as Methuselah
|reviewer: Gwilym Williams.|