Raven Wire
by Matt Pasca
Shanti Arts

"…If my poems could curl into your lap, I’d let them."

Reading Pasca’s writing means reading between the lines—at what is being hinted at, of what is not being said. Mainly, he asks of us: Are we listening? Some of his poems require several careful readings. They are erudite, meditative, and lyrical. Themes stem from his own life, while others reflect on events or moments of history with wide-ranging impact on any of us throughout generations. His work touches on familial relationships, blessings, violence, privilege, music, and literature. They are articulate with an exceptional control of language and symbolism.

In “6,000 Rounds Off the Internet,” Pasca laments the violence of mass shootings and the ease at which one may obtain the tools to inflict horrific harm. “The Old Ball Game” is a nostalgic piece on one of America’s favorite pastimes. “What Men’s Words Are For” ponders the relationship between fathers and sons and how they weaken over time. And in one of the best and more compelling poems in the collection, “June First” celebrates the beginning of summer days.

The meaning behind Pasca’s chosen title recalls Odin’s ravens—Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory)—from Norse mythology. Odin had a thirst for wisdom, and his ravens circled the world to collect ideas and reflections. Pasca does exactly this, reflecting deeply on a range of subjects from all parts of the globe. His book is broken into sections based on Huginn and Muninn, with poems carefully pieced together for each part. He exerts a mastery of the poetic form, and it is clear his writing is elevated to an entirely different level. A winner of the Eric Hoffer Award, Pasca’s book proves its writer is deserving of our attention.

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