Geoffrey Lehmann reviews 'New and Selected Poems' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Geoffrey Lehmann reviews 'New and Selected Poems' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

New and Selected Poems

by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Carcanet Press (Eleanor Brasch), $45 pb, 214 pp, 9781906188078

First, I will bore you with some Chris Wallace-Crabbe statistics. Born in 1934, he has thirty-three ‘new’ poems in his New and Selected Poems, which is an average of about seven poems a year since his last volume, Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw (2008). That is a lot of poems for the second half of a poet’s eighth decade, a time when many run dry. The ‘selected’ part of this volume draws from fourteen volumes (he has 681 poems on the Australian Poetry Library website). With earlier volumes, he has sometimes selected as few as two or three poems from each. With later volumes he has been less strict. For example, from the forty-three poems of For Crying Out Loud (1990) he has included eleven in New and Selected Poems. But in making this selection he has omitted some very good poems, which are worth preserving, such as his ten ‘Sonnets to the Left’ from I’m Deadly Serious (1988).

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.

Published in April 2013, no. 350
Geoffrey Lehmann

Geoffrey Lehmann

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.

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 ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.