Free verse doesn’t always instantiate the freedom of voice carried within its lines. Not so with Nick Purdon. The Road-Shaped Heart (Modern History Press, 2011). The poet from South African liberates his poetic expression from the constraints of time, space, and perceptual confines of man in his book of collected poems.
The 25 poems included in this collection explore the dimensions in and beyond the perceptual experience. Purdon’s motifs include the sacred distance, the tenderness of emotion, life as a journey, and the cycle of life and death. His freedom of spirit shows in blending perception with delirium to witness what he terms “blinding synethesia” (p. 15).
Purdon’s use of language has poetic beauty, often fitting short words skillfully to create the rhythm in lines: “I will you to slice me open/I want you to see/how scarlet I am for you” (p. 27).
The message that takes precedence in The Road-Shaped Heart is celebrating this unique journey called life, with “an awesome heart” that is likely to drown in itself – the gift of being able to make our choice of the path we take in life.
This book is lovable for its aesthetic and literary merit.