Stephen Edgar

Diamond Beach        

Heads down and shoulders hunched, we set off, trampling
The footstep-gripping sands of Diamond Beach,
Into the flat refusal of the gale,
Squinting into a distance we would fail,
Surely, ever to reach ...

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Stephen Edgar, over the past two decades or so, has earned himself an assured place in contemporary Australian poetry (even in English-language poetry more generally) as its pre-eminent and most consistent formalist. His seemingly effortless poems appear in substantial overseas journals, reminding readers that rhyme and traditional metre have definitely not outlived their usefulness.

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First light beside the Murray in Mildura,
Which like a drift of mist pervades
The eucalypt arcades,
A pale caesura

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After Stephen Edgar’s nine collections of poetry, the last seven of which are distinguished by an extraordinary control over metre and rhyme, a reviewer feels bound to ask how this new book ...

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In one of the poems in Summer Requiem, the most recent of the books in this capacious volume, Seth recalls when he decided to write, 'What even today puzzles me ...

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In this bonus episode of Poem of the Week Peter Rose interviews two past winners of the Peter Porter Poetry Prize – husband and wife Stephen Edgar and Judith Beveridge – about what it is like being poets in a marriage.

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Influence can be overt, deliberate imitation, or more subtle, an absorption one is hardly aware of. I deliberately imitated Dylan Thomas in my adolescence and learned, along with some bad habits, much about formal technique from him – as from Donne, Herbert, Milton, Keats, Yeats, Hardy, Auden, Larkin, Hecht. In the writing of blank verse there is a long line from (dare I say it?) Shakespeare to Wordsworth, Browning, Stevens, Frost. Among Australians, Shaw Neilson, Slessor, Hope, Wright, Harwood, Campbell, Peter Porter.

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Jennifer Maiden's The Fox Petition: New Poems (Giramondo) conjures foxes 'whose eyes were ghosts with pity' and foxes of language that transform the world's headlines

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My first reaction on picking up Les Murray’s new collection, Waiting for the Past, was to note how handsomely produced it is ... ... (read more)
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