The first thing that strikes me most about Joann’s work is; she writes a lot about nature. It leaves me with the thought that she lives in a cabin in the woods and has spent many of nights and days on the back porch watching nature work. The descriptions that she uses in her work to describe the many sides and dimensions of nature are spot on. They often left with me with a sense of coolness and desire to go frolic outside.
Forms don’t really mean much to me personally but after thinking on it I decided that it was important to look at the forms she used. As far the rules to forms she rarely deviates from the accepted norm. after having to look up so many forms it brought light to just how diversified her writing is. I don’t mean that she has written in many forms, I mean she has accomplished great works in several forms. It highlights her adaptability, or more suffice to say, her talent and skill. From shape poems to Kimo to limericks, she shows off her expansive creativity at every turn. Her Forms where she blends other languages were also enjoyable.
When it comes to flow the first thing I look at is concept. Does the idea flow properly through the poem? Sometimes things get skipped or irrational jumps are made that detract from the poems original concept. I have seen that Joann poems are seamless in this area. At no point do I ever get lost in a poem or have to ask myself what just wrong with this idea. In fact I would go to the other end of the spectrum and say that she is a master expressing what she is thinking.
Rhythm can be one of the hardest things to determine about a poem. You can use all the commas and spacing you want but the way people read your poem never quite sounds the same as it does in your head. Even harder to judge when you take into account all the various things that can be created by using soft words, hard words, or long words etc.… here is where I feel I will fail the most. Because in contrast it’s easy to be on the outside as a reader and say you should use this word here or that word there. There were instances in her poems were there where certain words seemed out of place because it was hard word surrounded by all soft words. I ultimately don’t believe that such minutia is going to make a poem suffer in anyway; I believe that it can enhance great poems to perfect poems. The whole process of this is compounded by everything being done by reading, and this process has shown to me the importance of hearing a poem straight from the poet. I also noticed that she dipped her toe in alliteration but never jumped in the pool. I personally love alliteration and would love to see more of it from her. Perhaps you should all petition the soup to allow audio files uploads and you can you hear the poem straight from the poet. I believe once she masters the iambic meter she will be unstoppable.
Joann is writing for one of the best reasons; self-expression. Though only she can say really if she is succeeding I can tell you that I found her to be an intelligent and worldly person. Her work obviously shows her connection to nature and her ability to share that with us is a gift to us all. I encourage all of you to read her work.