An exploration of two elements of Anthony Magistrale’s poetic style, highlighting the poet’s technical choices that help to give his works its characteristic philosophical style of presentation.
One element of style that is used most effectively by Anthony Magistrale in What She Says About Love is symbolism. Magistrale is able to use symbolism to transform some of the more mundane aspects of life into deeper, more philosophical occurrences. One instance in which this symbolism is evident is in the poem, “Poem for # 18″. In this poem, Magistrale uses his son’s final varsity lacrosse game as a symbolic action that represents the aging that has slowly snuck up on him and his youngest son. Something as simple as a sports game is spun into a turning point in his son’s life. This turning point carries a philosophical view point about the inevitable change that is occurring in his son’s life as he reaches the end of high school and prepares to enter the professional world. This turning point for his son doubles as a turning point for the father as he is able to reflect on his time spent with his son as he grew up. This reflection is especially powerful due to the philosophical hindsight that is presented by Magistrale.
Another aspect of style that Magistrale uses to present a more philosophical style of presentation is his use of vivid imagery. Magistrale uses vivid imagery to place emphasis on actions and objects that most people would neglect to recognize as something worth noticing. In the poem “Three Views of Milan”, Magistrale uses vivid imagery to highlight the children playing soccer in the streets, mothers shopping for dinner as well as the workmen cleaning the floors. These images are brought forward to represent the future intersecting the past. In multiple poems, Magistrale uses vivid imagery to place significance on Michelangelo’s The David and present it as more than just a statue. In the poem “When Gazing up at Michelangelo’s David”, Magistrale vividly describes the David to the point where it begins to take on the form of a real person who is being whispered to. This use of vivid imagery hints to the philosophical importance of commonplace actions and objects that would normally go unrecognized.