23/09/2012 by funnomad
The Others Raisd in Me “plunders” William Shakespeare’s sonnet 150 by deleting words and letters until new poems are literally sculpted from the marble of the original. This process is repeated 150 times, concocting a diverse intellectual history of Western civilization spanning the 400 years since the sonnets were first published.
“These poems are like homeopathic distillations with the thing stripped down to its essence to become something new and provocative. What remains is just a smack of Shakespeare; the rest is all Betts, with his sightful tongue and deft touch for words.” Stan Rogal, The Globe and Mail
“Small books have a charm of their own, and when they’re well designed and printed, you want to own a copy just for the pleasure of holding it in your hand. Such are the attributes of Gregory Betts’s latest small book, The Others Raisd in Me: 150 Readings of Sonnet 150 (Pedlar Press), with the added benefit that one keeps opening it up to read more of what’s inside. There are many wonderful surprises to be found in these meticulous “texts,” and one can only imagine the labour of picking and plucking that went into their discovery.” Stephen Osborne, GEIST magazine
“What pushes this collection beyond a ‘plundered’ patchwork of quotes or set of procedural poems is how intimate they feel. Part of this is due to the minimalist nature of the works: most of the poems are tiny, barely a dozen words. This closes the text down to what feels like sparse conversation on a back porch, a sort of familiarity between writer and reader that requires only the thinnest of explanations. Too, these compact works, stripped of excess language and the need for strict form, create a resonate emotional experience; each word crowds around meaning and jumps in multiple directions, pulled by the directions of the quotations preceding the sections but also the linkings between poems.” Aaron Tucker, The Agora Review
“Betts’ project is fascinating since it comments on the way that we read other authors and the way they influence us or we influence their works through reading/rewriting them.” Bill Allegrezza