TheUnspeak Poems, Tim Thorne’s fourteenth collection, is characteristically politically engaged and international in its scope. The best of these poems make use of Thorne’s acute ear for everyday speech. ‘Gettin’ there’, for instance, sad and memorable, creates through jumpy fragments of wry observations and narrative a picture of misguided hope against loaded odds: ‘The saddest place I’ve ever seen / is the bus shelter outside Risdon prison. / You lose about one teddy bear per eviction / on average.’ The same talent is used to different effect in recording the incoherence of racism in ‘7/11’.
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