Friday, August 30, 2019

Reader's Diary #2079- Anthony Foliot Snowking: Tales of An Old Town Versifier

When someone says they're going to write poetry in the style of Robert Service, I'm usually skeptical. I'd consider myself a fan of Service, but usually when people say that what they really mean is they don't read poetry but they remember "The Cremation of Sam McGee" from elementary school and find rhymes fun.

In Anthony Foliot's (aka the Snowking) Tales of an Old Town Versifier, one particular poem ("Looks Like My Job is on the Line") describes how this isn't necessarily the case for him. He intentionally studies other poetry but decides (based largely on the enthusiasm, or lack thereof, of his peers) to stick to "versifiying" (aka writing like Service) rather than "poetry."Of course, there's some tongue-in-cheek here, implying that "poetry" is pretentious compared to "versifying," a word which in actuality sounds even more pretentious.

I'd be lying if I said that Foliot was as good as Service, but as he's a fan himself, I'd venture to say he'd agree. The poems don't scan as well and sometimes when trying to find the rhythm I got a little too distracted to catch the stories. However, when they did work, I found them to be amusing blue-collar tales mostly with northern flair.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

hello John, thank you for your review of my simple book of verse. To be sure, I am not Robert Service, but my goal is not to copy him but use his style to tell stories. I was unclear in my understanding when you said my work didn't scan well, perhaps you found the rhythms difficult to grasp because you were reading them to yourself and not out loud. This is what the stories are for, to be read out loud. I bet you if we were sitting around a campfire and I versed you something you would have a better grasp of it all. But, whatever, even if you didn't that would be ok. I confess that my editor at EDGE actually hates my style, and he hates Robert Service! that's ok though. There is a new book in the works, and I'll be happy to forward you a copy when it's completed. you can reach me at >< if you like.