So for my latest review, Agostino Scafidi got in touch with me to review the second volume of his poetry E-Book Fancy Pants Poetry. But this time, he decided to release it in both E-Book and Audiobook format. So here are my thoughts.
The audiobook book was a really great idea. It’s one thing to see a poet’s lines on the page, but to hear them in the voice that they were intended to be spoken makes for a completely different experience. Being given the choice to listen to the poems instead of just reading them gave me a much better grip of the meaning of each individual poem and of the collection as a whole.
The E-Book format makes it easy to read on-the-go, without the hassle of having to pick up an actual book and carry it around with you. I read most of the poems on my phone, while I was out on the bus or sitting in the middle of a really boring lecture… (but, obviously, you shouldn’t do this!). One thing I would say about the E-Book format is that I was able to see how the poems were laid out on the page and many of them were laid out in the same way – if not all of them actually. It would have been interesting to see Agostino Scafidi play around with the space on the page a little bit more. For example, not all the lines in a poem need to be capitalised and they don’t all have to be left aligned either! I wonder why Agostino made the particular spatial choices he did make? Was there any particular reason or was it just due to habit?
My favourites in the collection would probably have to be Momentum and Tough Times. Momentum because it reminded me a lot of the poetry that Keats used to write. He was pretty concerned about running out of time and not being able to properly establish himself in the world of poetry, and the subject matter of Momentum is very similar to that kind of internal conflict. And Tough Times purely because of the poetic language and symbolic imagery. It would be great to see more poems written like this.
I also noticed that a running pattern in Scafidi’s poetry is contemplation and uncertainty. The speaker often contemplates one thing or is uncertain about another and whilst I do find that interesting, I find that at times it can be a little bit overused. Many of the poems in this volume resemble written thought logs. I’m not at all saying that this is bad, because of course, it’s one of the best ways to get to know the speaker behind the poem. But I think that an interesting way to shake things up, would be to throw in a really arbitrary speaker. Like a serial killer or a little girl or maybe even the voice of like, a pet dog. It sounds crazy but it would be something new and interesting to explore! It would also be great to see Scafidi experiment with different poetic forms – haiku, sonnet etc. I love the way he writes, but I would like to read something that steps outside the box a little bit more. At the moment it seems like Scafidi has put his feet in to one really great pair of shoes and he’s already doing up the laces. But what about all the other shoes in the shop – why not try those on too?
As I’ve said before though, I really do enjoy reading Agostino Scafidi’s poems. They’re very emotive, very visual and they take you to a lot of different physical and mental places. I enjoyed the fact that I got to hear this collection and I thought it was a great idea to release it in an Audiobook format!