Christina Seymour. Structo Press, $5.00 chapbook (15p)
The ten poems in Christina Seymour’s debut chapbook, Flowers Around Your Soft Throat, raise everyday suburban life to the level of the sublime using alliteration, neologisms, and a rich palette of literary and artistic references.
Seymour, who teaches creative writing at Maryville College in Tennessee, built this collection on the scaffolding of “A Song of Loves,” her prize-winning entry from Structo’s 2014 psalm contest. An imitation of Psalm 45, the poem transmutes the psalmist’s effusive praise for the Hebrew king into a celebration of domestic life with a partner: “Your garments smell like our years— / open dresser, quiet nights”. The psalm’s opulent language mostly appears here in the negative—“My hairbrush is not ivory or gold”—and in gentle denials of the psalm’s directives to forget ancestors and focus on offspring. Rather, the poet moots the possibility of self-regeneration without procreation: “Instead of my parents, we will be the children / whom we remake and remake for each earth, each time.”