Tim Peeler


Eating and Drinking

Eating and Drinking
Sam Silva
1stBooks Library

Of all the poets and writers I have been familiar with in the last twenty years, this one distinguishes himself from the rest in his sheer devotion to his art. With Silva, the reader always gets the sense that it is more than just poetry, more than just lyrical prose. Indeed, his own religious and political intentions pervade this work and give it a kind of neo-Blakean presence. And as in Blake, the reader may encounter work that seems muddled in esoteric complexity, but is as simple as Silva is able to make it. Besides the visionary, in this huge collection, there is much work that is straightforward, often allowing the reader an inside-out perspective on Silva's schizophrenia.

Silva's auto-biographical persona, Sef, appears frequently in the lyrical prose pieces that are at times haltingly poetic. There is much to praise in the poetry of this volume as well. Silva's poems are a study in sound effect and tonal juxtaposition.

Like Jim Chandler's recent collection, Silva's is long overdue, and the publisher should be commended for bringing out this much overlooked talent.