To the moon again
I'm grateful to Raewyn Alexander for writing this review of my book for the fifth issue of her publication Magazine. You can read other reviews of the book here, here, here, here, and here.
To the Moon, in Seven Easy Steps - Scott Hamilton
Titus Books RRP $19.95 ISBN 978-1-877441-02-8
The moon is a symbol of illusion, confusion, and romance, while poetry's a machine to suspend the everyday. Captured by images and phrases we float towards places we usually only dream we could visit.
Hamilton understands how many moods flourish within people, what dazzling aims we reach for, and how to convey the sense of this. On the way to the moon or to beautifully fooling ourselves could lie through reading these poems and collections of texts with curious additions.
Hamilton's writing takes in history, interruptions, lost poets, God, ordinary life complete with tea cups, travel, political theory...and through it all an urgent desire to know oneself. The poetry shows that, no matter what we trick ourselves with, we are always there. 'Self': a complex arrangement of experiences, ideas and feelings jostling for attention, or jutting in with chnages, then evoking lovely images to beguile and divert. Urges and thoughts drive any steps taken and the poet stays aware, uncomfortably at times, of their presence. Poetry releases us from language's usual rules, is a kind of holiday or sidestep for the mind. To the moon indeed, out into freshly written, surprising words, exploration at their core, the weight of the everyday lifts off you and a new place appears where strangeness is ordinary.
Reading poetry like Hamilton's may give a much-needed boost to your own creativity or simply form a way to exercise the mind, away from the expected and usual. Adventure is the main theme, even if it involves going to the moon.
'He needs only half an hour alone with the moon to produce a poem. He has been receiving neither letters nor newspapers. He ghosted his own memoirs. It was as though another eye had opened in his head.'
- from 'My Life'
Hamilton's first book could possibly be two volumes, there's so much going on, as illusions are shown to be part of life. Maybe the moon stepped down here to earth?