Early in his Literary Theory: An Introduction, Terry Eagleton quotes the Russian formalist critic Roman Jakobson: ‘[literature is writing that represents] organised violence committed on ordinary speech.’ I don’t know if Corey Wakeling has been influenced by the formalists’ theories, but Goad Omen, his energetic first collection, is replete with estranging devices that bring attention to poetry as a structure in which ideas and images are set adrift from the anchor of ‘ordinary’ language in utilitarian settings. Within the space of a few lines in almost any given poem, violent ructions in image, ideas, syntax, and grammar occur: ‘pace the percussion of patience through lotus guarantee / banquet the animosity hoax, misplacement. Pert nark’ (‘The Blush’).
Anthony Lynch reviews 'Goad Omen' by Corey Wakeling
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Anthony Lynch lives on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, where he writes poetry, fiction, and reviews. His work has appeared in The Age, The Best Australian Poems, Island, and Southerly. His short story collection Redfin (2007) was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. His poetry collection Night Train was published in late 2011 by Clouds of Magellan. He is publisher at the independent publishing house Whitmore Press and an editor at Deakin University.
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