Stephen Edgar shows us the dazzling pleasures of poetry that is ‘strictly ballroom’. Some years ago in a Greek restaurant, I was having lunch with Edgar, Martin Harrison, and Robert Gray. My fellow diners began excitedly discussing the finer technical points of a range of verse meters. Edgar said that he had written poems using sprung verse, syllabics, and regularly accented meters. I became as quiet as a nun who finds herself in the middle of an animated conversation about the Kama Sutra. Fixed forms alarm me. I have never attempted a conventional sonnet in the Shakespearean or Petrarchan form, a technical exercise that is as elementary for Edgar as is a handstand for an acrobat. My competence in using fixed forms does not extend much beyond the traditional iambic pentameter with its five reassuring dee-dums per line.
Geoffrey Lehmann reviews 'The Red Sea: New and Selected Poems' by Stephen Edgar
The Red Sea: New and Selected Poems
by Stephen Edgar
Baskerville Publishers, US$19.95 hb, 112 pp, 9781880909782
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Geoffrey Lehmann has published seven collections of poems, a Selected Poems, and a Collected Poems, and was the first Australian poet to be published by Faber & Faber. He has co-edited with Robert Gray three anthologies of Australian poetry and has edited two anthologies of Australian humorous verse. He has also published a novel, two children's books, and Australian Primitive Painters, a book of art criticism. He was for some years a tax lawyer with an international accounting firm.
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.