The mastery of words

by
February–March 1980, no. 18

Angry Penguins: 1944 Autumn Number to Commemorate the Australian Poet Ern Malley edited by Max Harris and John Reed

Limited facsimile edition, $5.95

Poetic Gems

by Max Harris

Mary Martin Books, 50pp, $4.95

The mastery of words

by
February–March 1980, no. 18

In his introduction to The New Australian Poetry, reviewed elsewhere in this issue by Thomas Shapcott, John Tranter declares that this poetry has no allegiance except to itself. Some characteristics of works regarded as modernist are: ‘self-signature’ – the work validates its own technical innovations – and self-reference, where the ‘method’ is reflected consciously in the ‘medium’. He contrasts this modernism with such work as Vincent Buckley’s ‘Golden Builders’, which elicits a response of ‘quasi-religious rhetoric . . . a natural outgrowth of Australian university English departments’, and one sufficient to explain the ‘anti-academic bias’ evident in much of the work of the new poets.

John McLaren reviews 'Angry Penguins: 1944 Autumn Number to Commemorate the Australian Poet Ern Malley' and 'Poetic Gems' by Max Harris

Angry Penguins: 1944 Autumn Number to Commemorate the Australian Poet Ern Malley

edited by Max Harris and John Reed

Limited facsimile edition, $5.95

Poetic Gems

by Max Harris

Mary Martin Books, 50pp, $4.95

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