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O formă de adăpost primară by Bogdan…
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O formă de adăpost primară

by Bogdan Coşa

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Highbrow contemporary poetry is in Romania pretty much a small neighborhood. Which only half explains why the photo of the author included here is by Andrei Dósa, who also appears on the back cover (saying that this is the best structured volume since No Way Out of Hadesburg by Ioan Es. Pop... o rly?) and why a bunch of poems from this book is dedicated to several poets out of which several (including, again, Dósa) are also on the back cover, applauding the achievements of this book... In reality, it is even alluded that this is some sort of minimalist manifesto (there is an occurance of the word "minimal" somewhere and the poem dedicated to V. Leac has a moment with "let's make a new literary movement/are you in?" or something like that).

Fortunately, it is not limited to the manifesto side of things, even though a large part of the first half of the book is filled with vague demonstrations that remind me a bit of, among others, Răzvan Țupa. Unlike Țupa, however, Coșa has his fair share of personal absolute truths (!) which he tends to rub aggressively in your face ("feelings are the sign of the weak" - really?). In addition to that, there are some conceptual attempts that, at worst, manage to feel completely out of place and ruin the tone of the volume (the Iov/Yoda poem, for instance).

I begun my previous paragraph with "fortunately". That is because, after the middle of the volume, finally acquires substance and stops being so brickin' ostensive (well, not entirely - there is a "CD [with poems] by Dan Sociu" mentioned in one of the last poems). The best poems in here (here I would also mention the first 4 poems from the book), when read in the right mood, make the minimalist magic truly come alive, in spite of all its limits and eccentricities.

Though released in the so-called "mainstream", "O formă de adăpost primară" (an obviously unnatural title which I guess could be translated as "A Form of Shelter[,?] Primary") is a niche statement, a delicacy for fans and a hit-and-more-or-less-miss for other insiders. "Newbies" will be probably be overwhelmed, even though Coșa's abstractions are actually very concrete.

Also recommended: all of the poets that you can see on the back cover.

P.S. V. Leac states: "This type of poetry (conceptual poetry) always had a more selective and intelligent public". I can hardly believe that Leac (the kind of (indeed) intelligent anarchist that usually defies pigeonholing and easy (poetic) pickings) would sign such a big-word statement (OK, I'm myself way too concerned with big words, but I don't pretend to be on the crest of the wave). Let aside the fact that this is more minimalist than conceptualist (a movement that has started in Romania very recently), I fail to see how this kind of poetry would require more intelligence than other poetic forms of the past, as for the selective public, the proper term is niche. There are reasons why minimalism is not for everyone, reasons that don't come down to quality (I can't believe we are still trying to discuss in such terms in 2013, after several years in which it seemed (at least to me) that Romanian poetry may no longer have another "dominant" trend any soon, in favor of more refreshing eclectic approaches), but to structure. ( )
  yigru.zeltil | Aug 24, 2014 |
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