Enkomputiligis Don HARLOW


by Albert Goodheir

reviewed by Don Harlow

GOODHEIR, Albert: Enlumiĝo. Glasgow: Kardo,1987. 44 p. + 2 illustrations. Paper. ISBN 0 905149 22 X.

Off the west coast of Scotland, on an island known as Skye, is a little place called Glenbrittle, where you can pitch a tent and relax in almost complete solitude for a week. If you are not attracted by the neighboring peak of Sgurr Alasdair -- highest point of the Black Cuilin, a mountain range that resembles the Grand Tetons in shape, and, though it is smaller, is no less intimidating -- and you posess a local Ordnance Survey map, you might decide one day to hike south along an almost non-existent trail for some four miles, fording a couple of streams that when they are in spate will guarantee you a soaking, so that, on a rocky and forbidding headland, you can find the remains of a beehive-shaped residence, some three quarters of which is below ground level, built some five thousand years ago. There, in that "chambered cairn," you can enjoy a quiet lunch in communion with those distant ancestors who built this place, as well as such better-known monuments as Callanish, Stonehenge and Avebury Henge; your peace will be disturbed only by the monotonous low roar of the long grey swells that come rolling in across the Atlantic from America, or perhaps Tolkien's Numinor, and the occasional cry of a wheeling gull.

I mention this because these are memories that several of the poems in this relatively recent short collection evoke -- the feeling that those five thousand years are as nothing.

Pratempe staras
Ŝtonoj en rondo,
sorĉe elbaras
la efemeron
de brua mondo --
Naskas en menso
lumhelan sferon
pretertempa penso.

There are three outstanding poems in this work: "Strofoj pri la interna lumo," "Lumo sur dolmeno," and "Vintraj strofoj." The first and third of these are in the same format: each consists of ten shorter eight-line verses linked by a common ... well, "feeling" is probably a more accurate term than "theme." Each verse is in the form of what Goodheir calls a norda strofo, or "northern verse," with rhyme scheme ABACBDCD (as in the above example, from "Vintraj strofoj"), about which William Auld waxes justifiably enthusiastic in the preface. "Lumo sur dolmeno" is written as a series of five-line blank verses, but otherwise shares much of the same atmosphere with the other two poems:

Kiam la ruĝa suno en subiro
brakumas la amatan terdiinon
ekbrilas la granito de dolmeno,
momente revidebla luma centro
de komunumo preter tempkurteno.

The reader should be familiar with two or three not-too-common terms: menhiro (standing stone), dolmeno (two standing stones of equal height, joined by a lintel), rabdo (dowsing rod).

There are other poems in the book, ranging in theme and quality from the one that gave the book its title to such minor works as "Survoje al operacio." Don't worry about them. If you like them -- and they did not particularly impress me -- they are only frosting on the cake. The three I described above are worth the price of admission. In my opinion, in fact, any one of them would be.

Aliaj Recenzoj

La libro haveblas ĉe
Universala Esperanto-Asocio
Flandra Esperanto-Ligo