No Sicilians Were Killed In the Making of This Poetry
Mark Petit’s earnest romantic poetry is beguiling in its sweetness. “You are the wind,” the speaker says in “Shine On”. “For my heart takes flight with your passing /And every tree bends as you go by”. The adoration that glistens like the speaker’s beloved in this piece (and Petit’s clear love for The Princess Bride) wins over the reader so much so that the abrupt appearance of several haiku in Anybody Want a Peanut? is almost completely forgiven.
Petit includes in his work a section made up of what he calls “Madness with a touch of Sadness.” This section is home to “Morning Comes”. While the poem is admittedly not a technical thing of beauty, the sentiment it carries is one that can be shared by many people, especially during these excruciating days. The poet writes:
You know that sometimes I’m going to fly
And sometimes I’m going to cry
But most ‘the time you’ll find me
Somewhere in between
The tightrope of despair and exhilaration is one that every person in the world can say they have been inching across recently. It is affirming to see this persistent inner turmoil so clearly acknowledged.
Now, variety is always a good thing to have in a poetry collection, but unfortunately in Anybody Want a Peanut? variety has given way to an explosion of odds and ends that don’t quite seem to fit. Petit is clearly having fun as a writer which is a lovely thing to see upon the page and yet, when producing a collection, writers must turn on an editorial eye and scan through their work like a laser.
Petit introduces his readers to a realm of ardent romance but then twirls away into a hall of humor that at times does not hit the mark. If he had focused on perfecting his romantic poetry, not only pieces that focused on human relationships but nature as well, this collection would have had a stronger sense of identity. He also would have been able to utilize different forms without sending his readers into a state of cognitive dissonance:
When the sky turns pinkPink
The heart curls into a smile
Sunset on the sea
The above haiku is one of the best in the collection. Serene and calming, it so easily captivates and transports the readers to another place. Petit should be commended for this. Although they are an uncomplicated poetic form, the haiku is incredibly hard to execute properly.
After ordering Anybody Want a Peanut? from the local bookstore, readers are encouraged to spend time with “Pink”, “The Dance” and “Shine On”.
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