Quirky Books: The Zenith of Images by Jean-Philippe Gueant

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Zenith of Images by Jean-Philippe Gueant

Jean-Philippe Gueant is the founder of transcendental abstraction. With vast experience in the world of art he has expositions in several countries. Gueant's life adds intrigue and nuance to poetry. An infusion of form elevates the artistic vision of free-verse in, "the Zenith of Images."

Sections of words, conveying elusive thought, makes intent seem haphazard in some poems. The poem "Ni Agara Nor" develops a presence in the first lines, "If I con-sider this small brook." Intent is established by emphasizing the word, "con." Roughly, the commercialization of Niagara Falls diminishes natural beauty.

In other poems, end-notes are applied to lesser known references. In "Who Knows" he references "Vanity" by Hans Memling. This helps the reader understand when, "we crossed through," we are older, as opposed to: on drugs or promoted.

Blurbs in French detract from the poetry. While this could be an expression of artistic license, it appears lazy. Either the translation was too awkward or he thought French made the poem sound affluent. Either way, it diminishes rather than enhances metaphorical prose.

Published by cyberwit.net, the inconsistency in the quality of each poem insinuates the publisher planned on selling books because of Gueant's reputation. The variations in the best poem to the worst poem are overwhelming. As a person who has read several books of poetry, this is fairly common amongst famous artists. The only books of poetry defying this anomaly are "Best of" coffee table relics produced after the poet has passed-on.

The over-all impression of the book is awkward. It is a paperback featuring a landscape on a laminate cover. The modern presentation devalues the work. Value is re-added to the quality of the work after reading about his extensive and successful history. Usually fine art is hard bound. Yet the presentation is appropriate as Gueant is contemporary.

Born in 1945, Gueant is considered a Baby-Boomer. It is exciting to read poetry from artists who are successful during their lifetime. Being aware of current trends is important. Poets and Contemporary Enthusiast will love "the Zenith of Images." The average reader is likely to dismiss it as trashy. Be careful when giving it to someone as a gift.

Poetry Breakdown
Pain by Jean Philippe