Stone Telling 1: Silence to Speech
Edited by Rose Lemberg
Reviewed by Alexandra Seidel
Silence to Speech is the title of the first issue of Stone Telling, an online poetry magazine that premiered in 2010. Silence to Speech indeed–rarely has there been a magazine that felt so much like it was giving a voice to those unheard.
Each and every poem in this issue explores speech and explores silence, but most importantly, together they give the reader a feel for what the journey from one to the other means.
The issue opens with Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Elders at the Falls”. This poem speaks of the degeneration of speech and communication–community–into aching silence, leaving the reader raw and suddenly sensitive to what speech means in our lives.
This is perhaps most vividly expressed in Peer Dudda’s “Train Go Sorry”, a bilingual poem in English and ASL. Narrated by the poet himself, we are allowed to partake in his journey from one language to the other, from a sense of home shattered to a sense of finding a home in words that need not be said out loud.
J. C. Runolfson in her poem “Robert Cornelius speaks a dead tongue” explores the artist’s language, the language of photography in it’s early stage. “This is alchemy,/the transmutation of metal into/the image of man,/the capture of this light/in this place,/but it is only the first stage, dissolute.” she writes aptly, telling us of a communication that uses images freed from their time, giving a voice to that moment in time even once it has passed.
The poetry section closes with Shweta Narayan’s lush bilingual poem “Nagapadam” in which speech and language suddenly appear split tongued, where words may be spoken but are not heard, not understood by the listener.
Concluding the issue is a non-fiction section that shall not be reviewed here, but it is worth a read all the same.
The striking thing about Stone Telling is that all the poems work on so many levels, especially seen as a whole. Out of the fourteen poems eight are accompanied with an audio/video version, allowing the authors to give voice to their own poems, something that adds even more depth to the experience of these works, unbinds them from just being words on paper and transforms them into a tale told in the distinct voices of their creators. The artwork that accompanies most of the poems is tastefully chosen and serves well to tickle the reader’s imagination beyond the reading or listening.
“This work, “Stone Telling Issue 1”, is a derivative of “Stone Telling, A Review of Issues 1 and 2″, by Alexandra Seidel, which appeared in Fantastique Unfettered 2, A Periodical of Liberated Literature aka http://www.Fantastique-Unfettered.com and is licensed in kind under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.”