Written by Noah Kim
Inscape 78’ embodies an aesthetic surrounding the appreciation of thought and the pursuit of profound experiences and ideas. The issue followed a fall color scheme of brownish-oranges all throughout the cover and font; I appreciate the difference in color and aesthetic appeal of this issue.
The initial piece that caught my attention was the poem “Statistic” by Glynis Callebs. Alliteration subtly fills the piece thoroughly and a contrast of themes regarding the rustic, uncut nature of earth and the beauty of the cosmos battle throughout the poem.
The alliteration provides an ethereal flow and professional pronunciation for each line:
"Weathered, wasted, wheezing,” and “Master of missed meanings, / lazy liar,” (1,6-7). The nature of humans is revealed through, “Winter-gray, smothered, unloved man. / Master of missed meanings, / lazy liar, / how easily you tired” (5-8).
This regard of loveless, confusedness, and laziness are all disappointing attributes that can be applied to all people at various points throughout their lives; relatability through the fallen moments of humanity and the want to escape beyond the earthly realm is how this piece conjures a meaningful connection amongst its readers.
The final lines hit like a linebacker; “Plans forgotten, things undone, / you’ve robbed yourself - / a cosmic crime. Old man in the moon, / you died too soon” (14-18).
The robbing of one’s self, and the old man provide an ambiguity so vague the reader cannot help but attempt to apply these subtle references to their own life. The poem is nearing 41-years old and still invites the reader to stab at its meaning and apply it to themselves.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this issue because the content was alarmingly familiar to what comprises the more recent issues of Inscape. This was initially a shock for myself; however, I realize that the college students who submitted their work in 1978 cannot be all that different from the students submitting their work today and that was a profound moment of realization. A degree of being lost, searching for passion that is not fleeting, and a desire to change the blunders embedded in daily life are all common themes throughout recent and previous issues alike. I realized through reading this issue that the qualms of a college student really are all the same and I find comfort in knowing there is a community surrounding the love of literature that is all relatively in the same place.
The issue also contains several other notable works such as “Shades” by Jane Bremer, which is an encapsulating autumnal poem about the changing of the seasons. Also, “The Procession” by Karen Monte is a piece regarding the reflection and passing of a friend--perhaps one she regrets she did not spend as much time with, which is truly a subject of sympathy and relatability among many. The works vary in range of emotional heaviness and provide an excellent assortment of reading, as do most of the issues of Inscape.
The artwork within the issue was mainly hand-drawn sketches that were impressive and fit the theme and aesthetic of the issue well. Art pieces, in my opinion, have come a long way since the earlier issues of Inscape. This is especially true for the photography, as technology has changed and the images are simply stunning. I feel as if the art of pen to paper drawing has somewhat fallen out in recent years of Inscape issues and seeing the abundance of such talented hand-drawn works was refreshing.
The issue of 1978 brings about such an inviting, timeless collection of pieces that one cannot help but wonder how the works are so similar from so long ago. The issue captures the essence of Inscape; the works resonates with college students today in the same way they did decades prior, revealing a sort of essence connecting the minds of college students throughout the differing eras. The works create a time capsule for the reader of today, making it truly an experience to go back and pick at the words on the forgotten paper.
Noah Kim is a second year English major aspiring to acquire a B.A. in English and move on to attend Law School for his J.D. Within Inscape Noah is an associate poetry editor and is formatting the table of contents within the webpage. He says, " I highly value literature of all kinds and believe literature is the microscope that uncovers the nuances of our society."
PCC Inscape Magazine, housed at Pasadena City College, is following Coronavirus protocols. At this time our staff continues to read submissions and publish web content.
Blog Posts reflect the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of Pasadena City College or Inscape Magazine Editorial Staff Members.