Wednesday, February 12, 2020

new from above/ground press: Thaumaturgy, by Anthony Etherin

Anthony Etherin


Anagrammed Lines

Winter Solstice:
Written close is
woe. Strict lines
wrestle in stoic
selections, writ
low in its secret.

Homonolic Lines

Winter Solstice:
Silver shimmers
needle darkness.
Gilded lanterns
gently splinter
leaden evenings....

Homovocalic Lines

Winter Solstice:
Nights echo, wide.
In the cosmic web,
lives collide.
In the low light, we
find the old rites.

Many of the poems in this collection are palindromes — either by letter, by pairs of letters, by triples of letters, or by word. One poem is an aelindrome, which means it palindromically parses its letters in accordance with a premeditated sequence — for example, the phrase “trap no rat” is aelindromic “in 123”, since its letters are parsed according to the associated palindromic sequence 12321: [t]1[ra]2[p no]3[ra]2[t]1.

Of the non-palindromic poems, some are composed of perfectly anagrammed lines. One piece (“Barely Time”) comprises three anagrammed haiku.

Some poems are minimalist sonnets — three Petrarchan, one Shakespearean and one Spenserian. The Shakespearean sonnet (a tetragram-sonnet) uses only four-letter words.

The other constraints are:

Triolet: A traditional form, of rhyme scheme ABaAabAB (where uppercase letters indicate repeated lines). Uniconsonantal Haiku: A haiku using only one consonant. Homonolic lines: Lines using words with the same letter-lengths. Homovocalic lines: Lines using the same vowels, in the same order, while varying consonants. Beaux Présents: Lines using only the letters found in their first word. Univocalic Haiku: A haiku using only one vowel. Beau Présent: A poem using only the letters found in its title.

Another poem uses only words that contain the consecutive letters “the”.

Cover: “An Incantation” by John Collier (1887).

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
February 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Anthony Etherin
is an experimental formalist poet, a publisher, and a sometime musician. For more of his poetry, find him on Twitter, @Anthony_Etherin, and via

This is Etherin's second chapbook with above/ground press, after Danse Macabre (2018).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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