Experience is a changeling, that explains all our lives. We follow hope whether we are on a Tibetan Mountain, part of the blue, manic Mardi Gras; know well the burnt-biscuit skin of New Jersey or the sexuality of Morocco. From day to day we follow it through a labyrinth of emotion, vowing Ill come back, for this Dumb Hillbilly has a few more things up her sleeve, as you will see. Let the good language of Sabne Razniks safe place rush over you like horses. She is humming a melody we only ever hear in our dreams.
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About the Author
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Poetess Sabne Raznik resides in the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky. One would assume the poetry of an Eastern Kentucky poetess would be rustic, simple, and focus on the beauty of the hills and forests of the sparsely populated region. This is definitely not the case in Following Hope. The poetry of Following Hope is amazing in its sophistication and depth. Following Hope presents the reader with a wide variety of poetry, and an equally wide variety of captivating photographs. Poems like 'Dark', 'Underside of Ugly', and 'Atmosphere' present the reader with a dark world full of feeling. Especially gripping is the poem 'Fingers' which depicts a tale of sexual violation. Not all is gloomy in Raznik's world as poems like 'Budding' and 'Follow Hope' offers a sense of positivity. Stirring photographs spread throughout Following Hope both compliment and contrast the poems of the book. Fans of multi-stanza poetry will be pleased with Following Hope as Raznik offers several examples for the reader. Because of her unique talent Raznik has been referred to as 'the 'Rock-n-Roll' poet, often drawing comparisons to the great Bob Dylan. Just as they would enjoy a good song, readers of Following Hope will truly appreciate the talent of Raznik, and the deep feeling of her verse.
Following Hope is a handsomely made book: POD books are improving in quality all the time. The photographs, some by the author, are an attractive complement to a collection preoccupied with the visual: glitter, dazzle, kinetic energy. The collection begins with the well-sustained sequence 'Valhalla: blue', though I have to confess to being a bit puzzled by the title: I have never much liked the idea of the Norse warriors' paradise, and it seems an odd place to find these gossamer lyrics, despite their inner steel. The poems I like best are the ones which seem consciously to experiment with line length and breaks: 'Dinner Talk' and 'Fingers' are both interesting in this regard. But there are fine phrases scattered throughout: 'Experience is a changeling', 'water coloured smiles and gypsy-clad/ habits', 'A leather-clad, muted blue star' ('Valhalla: blue') 'Crowded streets of baked rain' ('Une Ville'), 'the certainty of ships' ('Fingers'). 'The Bearded Prophet' has a political dimension, commenting on the ecological change wrought by strip-mining on the poet's native Kentucky. The very best piece is also the funniest, though, 'Dream: 2 a.m.', in which the speaker recounts a stroll through New York with a very rakish Brian Eno. There's a real commitment and dedication to language in this first collection that promises much for the future.