Peggy Flora’s poetry collection Eye Poetry is filled with musings, reflections, insight, warmth, and sadly, missed opportunities. In the preface she explains: “I am not a poet. / I am poetic./ There is a difference./ And I know it.”
Flora’s verse is obviously created by a sensitive, intelligent individual who longs to make sense of the world. Her work is hampered, however, from misguided notions of the craft. Much of Flora’s poetry (but not all) cleaves to the ideas that Rhyme = Musicality and Brevity = Concision.
Rhyming well is, unfortunately, an underrated skill, and if not done carefully, may result in imprecision and unintentional facetiousness. Consider these lines from “Days in white lily”: “There with you I could soar / Just what we came here for / Who knows anymore?”
Detail is also key; poetry should include descriptions that reflect the writer’s fresh vision, transcending obvious observations such as “Billowing clouds” or “lips like cherries,” which appear in Flora’s verse.
“Jail Bait” is a chilling piece (far less constricted than the majority of poems that comprise Eye Poetry) describing the narrator‘s experience with a stylist. It’s anecdotal, absorbing, sharp, and it doesn’t rhyme. “I went back to change into my dress and he / followed me once again. I recall the surreal / feeling as we kissed in the dressing room…” While Flora doesn’t aim for concision here (and the poem could have benefitted from some careful pruning), it’s worth noting how intriguing her writing becomes when she worries less about application of such devices. With just a few tweaks, evocative images and some distillation, this could be a powerful poem.
If Flora devoted more time to exploring the depths and nuanced lyricism of poetry, and less arbitrarily imposing conventional strategies, she would surely impress her audience with her eye for poetry.
Also available as an ebook.