Critique of “The Wood” by Nick Walsh


*”The Wood” starts with semi-regular meter and rhyme; (though the exact rhyme of wood/wood remains awkward anyway you slice it.)

*”His images” are like stars, lanterns, but also heavy, and also damp.
Damp stars?
Damp lanterns?
Heavy stars?
Heavy lanterns?
Heavy lanterns and stars, or just heavy lanterns and damp stars?
Or vice versa?
Or this that and the third?
Or all that and a bag of chips?
Are they damp chips, or heavy chips?
Or damp, heavy chips?

(Oh, they are a box of Garden Salsa Sun Chips left out in the rain?)
{Good imagery}

* Does “unfilled” mean the same in the poem as “unfulfilled” means in standard English?”

Are these the expectations he had from whom I blindly must term “The Girl?”

When did we stop talking about ‘The Wood’ and start talking about ‘The Girl?’

Are we in the wood?
Is the girl in the wood?
Is the wolf in the wood?
Is the wood in the wolf?
Where is the girl?
Is the girl in the wolf?
Is there a wolf?
There is a wood, and there must be a girl.
The wood must be in the girl!
Does the girl have a splinter?
Is she wearing a red hoodie?

-I’m grasping at moss here, completely lost and still trying to scan “The Wood” correctly. Line by line with this sh*t, typical Walsh.-

Does a wolf sh*t in the woods?
Is the pope a wolf?
There’s a wolf in the pope?

A pope in the wolf in the girl in the woods, is what I have so far, if I am correctly scanning “The Wood.”

* Oh, clearly his brain is waterlogged wood with the images floating above.# !

*The lines expand to (6) twelve-syllable lines and (8) thirteen syllable lines, and then metric regularity is elusive for the rest of the way out of “The Wood.”

* “Lied and cheated” are introduced as verbs before we we know that the pope is in the wolf is in the girl is in the woods, which is misleading at first glance.

For me, the imagery of the speaker’s body merging with the forest is very appealing. {cf. Bran Stark, cf. the “green man” of Anglican Churches, cf. that Guatemalan shaman from America who discovered he was really a Guatemalan shaman because he didn’t die in the jungle even though he probably should have died given the circumstances and then he wrote a book about it and is now a Guatemalan shaman, but for real, AND in trade paperback?)

Suggestions: What would result from change of tense, from the past tense to the present tense?

The poem ultimately fails, because only after the merging of the lover with the beloved does the beloved make her entrance. Other than that, a typical Nick Walsh poem, of which there are thousands, allegedly.$

# “Ant-teeming log.” “Dewy grass.” “Bed of snails.” “Tough cocoons.” “Wombat claws.” “Thorn bush.” “Cat-fur.” “Mushroom-cap.” “Stir of worms.” “Cobwebs.”

! Minor note: “she stepped” seems to modify “liquid pool” and not, as it should grammatically, “his belly.”

$ See also, “The Wood,” by Nick Walsh. I have lost my copy of “The Wood” by Nick Walsh, but I did still have my notes for the next meeting of the Poetry Club of Nick Walsh.