“Fault Lines” by T. M. Moore (published in Volume 14 Issue 1 (2003) of <A href="http://www2.evansville generic cytotec.edu/theformalist/formalist.htm”>The Formalist) draws a parallel between the fault lines between tectonic plates, and the lines of a poem, a “poet’s verse.” However, the almost the entire weight of the metaphor rests on the closing couplet, which seems an awful lot for the poor thing to bear. It makes one appreciate the ballance of a Petrarchan sonnet. On the other hand, the jarring impact of that final line is profound, and guarantees the poem a re-read so that the reader can catch all the allusions that may have been missed on the first time around.

The diction is a bit scientific, which for me doesn’t quite convey the awe and mystery that this poem is attempting in every other way, but I know some people who find science and even the pseudo-scientific awe inspiring. On the other hand, I really liked some of those scientific words from a sonic perspective like countervailing. It just means counteract, but it means it with so much flair.

I think, though, that my favorite part of the poem is the part where it says “throws into turmoil people, buildings, land” (line 11). When I first read it, I understood it as saying that buildings and land were going to be thrown into “turmoil-people” which is an interesting image, and works quite well. I had caught the intended sense of it by the time I got through the next line, but I think this double meaning justifies the inversion of using “into turmoil people” instead of the more correct “people into turmoil.”

I also like the use of unreconciling where the temptation might be to use unreconciled. The former seems to offer more hope for the future, and although the poem certainly ends on a downer, I think it is intended more to inspire awe than to act as a warning or doomsday type message.

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