Sneak Peek; Volume 19

In the Sneak Peek series we are talking about and highlighting some great works that will be presented in volume 19. Each editor chose a piece they were excited to share with others, so keep an eye out for them in the journal.

By Stephanie Pizzella

Title: “Land Siren”

Author: Olivia White

The poem, “Land Siren”, by Olivia White captivated me. I was enchanted by the mythical elements and elegant diction that encompassed this poem. In writing, I admire when you can truly visualize every line and phrase coming to life. You get a taste of this feeling when you read this poem. The graceful and sophisticated diction in “Land Siren” really stood out to me. The way the author describes the land siren— with phrases like “The ebony silk that swirled amongst her pale legs/ Was entranced by the haunting breeze that clung in the air”— was impressive (lines 4-5). The way the author described a simple action in such an alluring way is what makes this poem so imaginative and compelling. I enjoyed the aspect of mystery in this poem. We don’t know how the speaker ended up where they are, but that is what makes it interesting. We are left on the brink of a mystery. I noticed how the speaker does not explicitly state if the land siren they are referring to is an actual mythical siren, or a woman who the author is comparing this mystical being to. I admire how the author does not directly tell us, so we have to create our own conclusions. I personally believe the author is talking about a real land siren, which intertwines the affinity for mythology that many of us have. The breakup of the lines and the way White spaced out the phrases really added more emotion to many aspects of this poem. For example, the separation of the lines “As she swayed/ Towards me/ With a sneer of daylight fangs/ On an eternal midnight” added so much more intensity and passion to the poem, compared to if this sentence was all one line (lines 19-22). This story is haunting yet addicting. White’s carefully crafted words and intriguing mythical setting leads this poem to be incredibly magnetic

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