Written by New School creative writing professor Sharon Mesmer, the review delves into the details that make this book utterly unique. Mesmer recognizes Meersman’s aim of providing a universal poetic language, and finds herself immersed:
As I began composing this review, I typed the word “language” incorrectly as “linguate”: tongue-shaped. According to the glossary of orchid terms—a lexicon based on the taxonomic works of Linnaeus, which I found, of course, online—the word refers to the shape of certain orchids. My “mistake” then seemed serendipitously appropriate to a discussion of Philip Meersman’s extraordinary (indeed, multi-linguate) concrete, visual, and sound poetry: his work is tongue-shaped, and shaped by tongues.
She also recognizes that previous attempts at universal communication and avant garde language movements have been criticized. Still, Mesmer notes:
“. . . might not striving to be free of limiting particulars via a universal communication—shaped by tongues describing a radical openness—be a worthy intention of poets once again? If this is Meersman’s goal, he has both quietly and loudly succeeded.
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To read Sharon Mesmer’s complete review, visit The Brooklyn Rail.Share This!