Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Review: Whisper On The Wind (Rich Orth) by Dave Wolff

Whisper On The Wind
Poems by Rich Orth
Read by Adam Ginsberg
Grave Gear Studios
I’ve been reading Rich Orth’s poems since 2010 when we became acquainted on Facebook. One of the first things I learned of his inspiration was his affinity for nineteenth century poet Edgar Allen Poe and twentieth century poet Jim Morrison. We discussed this inspiration at length both times I interviewed him, and it’s my hope that readers received insight. This makes sense looking back, as Poe and Morrison had a darkness driving them to write and determination to be understood as human beings. That internal conflict particularly revealed itself in Poe’s writings. There doesn’t seem to have been an American Poet since Morrison put pen to paper. If Rich should become a contender for the title there is good reason for it. Orth’s work similarly resonates of a contemporary beatnik of the 2010s who travels as he pleases, paying nocturnal visits to graveyards and mausoleums and translating his experiences into words like Poe. To this nameless, solitary wanderer, the age of the beatnik never ended and there is still much to discover. There is a huge difference between reading these poems online or in print and hearing them recited in an audiobook. New York native Adam Ginsberg is an acquaintance of Orth’s who elected to record spoken word recital of his poems for this project. His interpretation of Orth’s writings take then into new dimensions, giving new voice to the spirits encountered during those nocturnal visits. It’s really not easy to explain unless you’ve heard these recitals firsthand, but just hearing them validates the longing, lamentation and frustration spawned by Orth’s darkest thoughts that one can only fully appreciate by taking the time to listen closely. -Dave Wolff

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