Poppi Hmelnitsky

Oceanic Orchestra, Opus 2

The orchestra has arrived.
Risen in salt sand and sea.
Ominous. Tectonic.
Troughs, Crests, all, is gargantuan levitating to the sky…

A landscape, for a poet, is primarily a state of mind. It can act as a powerful recall, bringing to mind words, emotions, and metaphors. And that’s what Poppi Hmelnitsky realizes in her poetry through the voices of the ocean.

Poppi’s experience and vision of the ocean allow her to create a poetic composition that is highly evocative and, at the same time, musical. Oceanic Orchestra, Opus 2. is a piece made up of images, sounds, and actions that follow one another in a continuous game of shifts and correspondences, as if played by an orchestra. And it is precisely the theme of correspondence that is delineated in her verses: the parallelism between human beings and the sea, between the landscape of the beach and the mind of her main character, Henry. The physical movements of Henry, a child swaying his yellow plastic bucket on the beach, are the same motions of the waves. The undulating and ephemeral characteristics of the seascape also impact our constantly floating self. Like the sea, Henry is ephemeral. Like the coastline, the little protagonist is also whipped by the wind, Brushing air, brushing Boy. Poppi’s poetry is cinematic and emotional; inspired by the natural elements of the ocean and Lacan’s research, it can be read on an aesthetic but also psychological level. What happens in the landscape outside is what happens in our psyche inside. Like that of the water, our identity is fragmented, constantly evolving, the result of overlapping waves and experiences.

Stylistically and lexically, Poppi’s poetry is highly musical, like a concert. The echoes of splashes, sea breeze and waves are evoked in the choice of words, mimicking the sounds of the groaning ocean. Like music makers in salted air, perpetuating rhythmical ideas. The wise study of rhythm is also reflected in the organization of sentences, now isolated, now connected by line arrangements and punctuation. Poppi in Oceanic Orchestra, Opus 2. plays with the harmony of the parts. As in symphonic composition, the poet reflects on the role of individual voices and what they create together in a choral framework. After all, even human beings —their mind, emotional experience, identity—are the result of metamorphic cooperation.

Oceanic Orchestra, “risen in salt sand and sea,” and Poppi’s poetics are inspired by the great masters of the literary tradition. From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s imaginative and visionary use of words that masterfully described nature and the ocean, up to the symbolic power of John Keats and the metaphorical density of Pablo Neruda poems. Poppi is inspired by poets capable of creating the enchantment, of breaking the boundaries between images, sounds, senses.

A promising poet with vivid imagery, Poppi Hmelnitsky has already been published in The Literature Magazine at Macquarie University (Sydney), 18th issue of 2021. Her fresh and communicative pen is recognizable as a live sound in a sea of voices.

Poppi Hmelnitsky is the Gold Writer of the ArtAscent Landscapes call for writers. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Landscapes issue.


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