Original poem reprinted online here: "Seance" by Edouard Roditi
Originally read: April 24, 2013
More information about the Poet: Edouard Roditi
This piece reads like an opening to a mystery novel, and I'm probably going to have a hard time proving that this is a "poem" and not a "blurb from a mystery novel" so I'll concede defeat and state that this may not be a poem, but this is interesting writing to me.
Why? For something to be written in this prosaic, narrative style, the piece plays on the idea of focus. Just from the title itself, "Seance" there's an expectation of the "supernatural" and "mysterious."
The focus though is the one, supposedly, doing the seance, and of course the stranger is mysterious, but then there's the two men who sit at the table and talk about travel. The stranger, awkwardly and like a creeper joins the conversation forcing the focus back to him.
Now I just noted the first half of the plot -- but the focus, no matter what direction, is being forced on the mysterious which serves as a foreshadow later on in the piece which is further punctuated by the description of a sound from the corners, "sound as of very swift wings, a muttering of motors, and chattering of thin voices." The description and the usage of the simile seems unfocused, but at the very core, I guess the main question is how to deal or what is mysterious
For example, when the stranger disappears, note that his disembodied voice takes a comparative stance since they both go and/or originate in the cornor of the room.
The last line of the poem, "Where the stranger stood the two men find a railway ticket to an unknown destination" brings the mystery to full circle -- it's a start of something, but the over-analytical past me wrote, "stranger = manifest destiny." Current me doesn't think this poem is that deep, or creative in it's approach. Just interesting.