Perhaps only John Shaw Neilson and Judith Wright have brought an equal sense of place to Australian poetry: the sense of place as a fact of consciousness with geographic truth. But in his latest collection, Biplane Houses, Les Murray considers more airy habitations – flights, cliff roads and weather – and the collection has a matching airiness that is only sometimes lightness ...... (read more)
Paul Kane reviews 'The Poetry of Les Murray' edited by Laurie Hergenhan and Bruce Clunies Ross, 'Les Murray' by Steven Matthews, and 'Poems the Size of Photographs' by Les Murray
You might expect a book of eighty-eight new poems by Les Murray to be sizeable (most of his recent single volumes run to about sixty poems each). But Poems the Size of Photographs is literally a small book, composed of short poems (‘though some are longer’, says the back cover) ...... (read more)
A seven-hundred-page Collected Poems? The cover photograph of the Big Bloke himself is an embodiment of what’s inside in all its sprawling abundance. As is his surname, which can’t help but invoke our country’s big river, whether in full flood, or slow trickle, or slow spreading billabongs ...... (read more)
The octopus is dead
who lived in Wylies Baths
below the circus balustrade
and the chocked sea tiles.
In his polemical Introduction, Les Murray notes that Quadrant was founded sixty years ago by poet James McAuley, the ‘stern formalist’ who ensured that poetry occupied a prominent place in the magazine. Poetry has continued to be central to Quadrant, its profile not waning under Murray’s stewardship as ...... (read more)
Susan K. Martin
The Penguin Book of Australian Bush Writing
edited by John Ross
Viking, $32.95 pb, 356 pp, 9780670076413
Twinings has recently introduced a new tea flavour called ‘Australian Afternoon Tea’. On the box is an image ...