In ‘Late Works’, the last poem in Black Inc.’s new selection of Gwen Harwood’s poetry, a dying poet, determined to pen her ‘late great’ poems, calls from her hospital bed for paper. The nurse, misunderstanding, brings toilet paper, much to the poet’s chagrin. It is a typical Harwood inversion – the pretensions of the ‘great artist’ are mocked to the last. But though Harwood eschews the opportunity, in this poem, to be ‘calmly transcendental / and abstract’, going for satire instead, she did not fail to write her own ‘late great works’, many of which are showcased here.
Ann-Marie Priest reviews 'The Best 100 Poems of Gwen Harwood' by Gwen Harwood, edited by John Harwood
The Best 100 Poems of Gwen Harwood
by Gwen Harwood, edited by John Harwood
Black Inc.,$24.99 hb, 112 pp, 9781863956987
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