Grady's Reviews > Platos de Sal

Platos de Sal by Matthew Hittinger
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it was amazing
Recommended for: Matthew Hittinger

Exploring Romance: Eroticism and Gentility

Matthew Hittinger continues to explore original paths in poetry with every new volume he writes. PLATOS DE SAL is a three part poem that at first reading appears to be conversation and memory exchanges between youth and elderly, roots and land and farming, life movement as described by Hispanics tilling the diminishing value of used farm land. Separated into sections titled 'Knit', 'Field', and 'Bar' Hittinger manages to paint his proscenium art with imaginative verbal colors:

'.......In the distance
three old willows swayed over the dried-up
creek bed, last year's drought still holding the land
like post-coital lovers. .....'

But in this arid scene he places a returning student David who speaks with his loving grandmother Rut about both the ordinary matters of farming and the more extraordinary smoldering passion the young student longs for in his lover Juan who is off at war as a soldier. Recalling times shared between David and Juan joined by the Rut during excursions at the waterline of the shore Hittinger gently muses on the passion experienced by David and Juan as well as the unspoken secret of Rut's love for Mara. Rarely has same sex love been so discreetly shared, or so erotically charged simply through the use of a few phrases or words. We discover the meaning of the word ‘juntar’ (knit) and the double meaning of placing two quilts together, face to face. And with great courtesy to the reader Hittinger introduces the idea of memory becoming the only remnant of that summer at the shore: radio broadcasts speak of current conditions of the war - the only background noise that disrupts this tale.

In the form of a beautifully constructed poem Matthew Hittinger has related a story other writers would need a novel to define. This is a poet to watch carefully as his talent grows with every new work he writes.

Highly recommended! Grady Harp
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message 1: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron Mohring Thank you, Grady, for this spot-on review of Matthew's chapbook!

Grady You're welcome. It is a phenomenally fine book!

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