Show and Tell

Show & Tell

(New Jersey: Inka Publications, 1996)
ISBN 1-57502-426-8
Price: $8.50

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“I dislike the slackness of free verse;
hurling vocabulary
blind on a blank square
with bold pulsing passion and verve,
is as a novice aviator
stepping blithely from
a shiny aircraft
ten thousand feet high,
willing pale parachute
to spring forth,
tilt him on target.

And who is to say if he hits?”

Show and Tell is a compilation of formalist verse written between 1995 and 1996. In this collection Wendy experiments with various sonnet forms, and pushes the sestina to interesting new levels. The book also contains the ten winning entries of the Inka Publications Poetry Showcase Competition of 1996, headed by Ruth Zimmerman’s “Dirge.”

Several of Perriman’s poems appeared in earlier publications: “Feelings” (Anderie Poetry Press); “Illya’s Honey” (Quarterly Journal of Poetry); “Womankind” (Anderie Poetry Press) and “Words of Wonder” (Anderie Poetry Press).

From the author:

Show and Tell combines both 'show’ and ‘tell’ techniques to maintain the clarity I strive for in my verse. This publication explores the differences between living in rural England and then moving to New York. It gives an expatriate’s view of life in the United States.

Some of the poems are inspired by historic events. “Blame” is about the Holocaust; “Afterwards” imagines the thoughts of the Enola Gay crew as they returned from dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima; “Myths and Legends” was commissioned by the Mayor of Kirkham (Lancashire) to celebrate 700 years as a market town; “Memorials” honors the Vietnam Veterans I met in Washington D.C.; and “Jackie” recalls the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

“Tasting the Apple” is a unique extended sonnet sequence based on a modern interpretation of the Seven Deadly Sins.

From Show and Tell: “Invaders”

One hot afternoon in May, the garden was tied with strings
from a hundred abseiling caterpillars, on a day
surreal and nerve-nipped, as their military coup crowned
them kings.
One hot afternoon in May.

The cobwebs spun over their territory kept Man at bay
yet they had conquered all without weapons, sharp claws
or stings.
Camouflaged in black, warriors glistened in the door way

dangling on threads, with the power an invasion force brings.
From the tree tops they glided and deep in the grass they lay
waiting for nature to elevate on gossamer wings.
One hot afternoon in May.

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