Poems that challenge the depths of perception
Dazzle camouflage, at the beginning of the 20th century, was an attempt to answer the question, How do we hide those things that are too big to hide? Ships, often containing thousands of soldiers, were done up in a confusing array of lines to perplex and distort the viewer’s perspective (in this case, German submarines). “Razzle dazzle” was art attempting to hide life.
Jamie Sharpe’s Dazzle Ships is also concerned with art’s relationship to life. It questions how we build poems from the material of mass culture. And in asking whether authentic modes of expression can be found in an increasingly automated world, Sharpe creates a poetry that is at once as disturbing as it is hilarious and as deeply profound as it is subtle.
Jamie Sharpe is the author of Animal Husbandry Today and Cut-up Apologetic. He lives in Comox, B.C.