Metaversal is a poem written by Sophie M. White and published in the March/April edition of Fantasy & ScienceFiction.
This poem briefly reiterates its concept of alternate universes in each stanza, and follows up with short, poignant images possible points of divergence. The way the poem is organized suggests underlying beliefs of the poet. From an interest in the myth and legend in its treatment of the Loch Ness monster, to its brief nod to religious factions, to a more concentrated look at nature, and ending with a hopeful idea regarding human health and suffering, where the common cold and staph infections are no more through mutual annihilation, the poet shows a hierarchy of interests and an almost belittling regard for world religions.
The poetic style—one in which no ending punctuation is used—is a bit disorienting, without an obvious justification. Some word choices seem especially clever, such as the “bubble/lubber” connection and the line that begins with “hums” and ends with “hymns,” but most of lines come across as fragmented prose more so than poetry.
This poem definitely breaks from the overly-stuff poetry that is perpetuated in academia and settles in to briefly communicate a concept with the reader. Instead of asking the reader to dwell on the poet’s pretension for the sake of art, Sophie M. White starts the reader on a line of thought and lets the reader’s imagination take over, offering up both a satisfying conclusion and a launching point for the imagination.