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What makes poetry effective? How does a poem work? What are its goals and aims?

Taking his cue from the musical form of mashup, in POEM M. D. Usher has composed what is known as a cento, stitching together snippets from famous poems in such a way that the words of the text illustrate the aspect of poetry being described. A lively introduction and short, irreverent biographies of the featured poets add to the fun.

In T. Motley’s artwork, Word literally becomes Flesh, as letters emerge like epiphanies from the drawings.

POEM is a unique achievement that stands in relation to canonical poetry as Disney’s film, Fantasia, stands to classical music—first of its kind, something for all ages, and well worth experiencing again and again.

Review by Micah Nova

Seven Days

About the Author

M. D. Usher is Lyman-Roberts Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at the University of Vermont.

About the Artist

T. Motley teaches illustration and cartooning at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts. 

See more of his work at his website.