Poetry. Entropy is a term most commonly associated with a state of disorder, randomness, or uncertainty, and by one sociological definition is "the natural decay of structure (such as law, organization, and convention) in a social system." It might well be said, then, that we are living in an age of entropy, and who better than a poet to address this state, since poets both before and since Yeats have long documented things falling apart, centers no longer holding. Estill Pollock's new poetry collection by this title (his first to be published in the US) is a worthy addition to the poetry of entropy, and he wastes no time getting to it: his opening lines, "Asides to Walt Whitman...", are full of images of war and pestilence, "the stink of babies three days dead / In Sudan, the boy staring back at the camera / His belly like a poisoned pup's." Thus from the outset we encounter poems that are both steeped in literary tradition (where Byron and Bob Dylan appear back to back) and passionately responsive to current events and human tragedy. And it is the former, the literary mastery, that keeps the latter from overwhelming us and making this a grim undertaking. Rather, it is a dazzling excursion into the delights of language, by a poet equally adept at description (as in the poignant "Visitor Hours" watching an old friend descending into dementia) and at invention (see "Strata," a modern myth of a "secret within secret," of an alien ship discovered beneath an archeological dig, "its hull a silk persuasion of stars / and strategies cut from deeper dark.") In his poetry, Pollock confronts the chaos of entropy and creates order out of the fragments of a broken world—at least for a time, however long it may last. Near the end, in the appropriately titled "What no longer holds" he concedes "I could not outrun the patience of graves // I have borrowed your heartbeat to tell you this."
Estill Pollock's first pamphlet selection of poems, Metaphysical Graffiti (Highcliff Press, 1998), was published in England. This was followed by a principal collection, Constructing the Human (Poetry Salzburg, 2001), which was later developed into the book cycle, Blackwater Quartet (Kittiwake Editions, 2005). Between 2005 and 2011, in collaboration with Cinnamon Press in Wales, he published a second major book cycle, Relic Environments Trilogy (Cinnamon Press, 2006). ENTROPY (Broadstone Books, 2021) is Estill Pollock's first poetry collection to be published in the United States. A native of Kentucky, he has lived in England for forty years.Author City: Attleborough ENG