Necessity: Poems 1996–2006
Paper Tiger Press, $25.95 pb, 172 pp, 9780957941168
Barry Hill’s latest collection is both delightful and substantive. Australia has a minority tradition of the urbane, exuberant, even bouncy poet – Andrew Sant, Peter Porter. It is a constant in American poetry – early John Hollander, Frederick Feirstein, L. E. Sissman, John Frederick Nims, X.J. Kennedy – with the difference that, as the above examples show, urbanity in the United States would be less romantic and would have rejected romanticism outright, severed, as it were, Ezra Pound’s famous pact with Walt Whitman.