Some things just don’t appear to go together, unless you are good at puzzles. A fox, a goose, and a bag of beans, for instance; or maybe a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage. Then there are Australia, love, and poetry. Australians and poetry can’t be left alone together, can they, and don’t expressions of love lose something when uttered out of the side of the mouth?
Donna Ward, publisher of Australian Love Poems, and Mark Tredinnick, its editor, reject both propositions. Part of the problem, Tredinnick writes in his introduction, is that ‘there has been a good deal more head than heart in Australian poetry for a while, a good deal more mind than body, more wit than wisdom’. This project, he suggests, allowed poets to bring forth work they might previously have felt wasn’t quite acceptable in the rarefied world of poetry publishing.