‘Lending printed eloquence to a poem’ comes from ‘Alas’, Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s elegiac tribute to Seamus Heaney. There is eloquence aplenty in this fine collection of more than a hundred and twenty poems edited by poet Geoff Page, someone who understands that eloquence speaks in many tones and in various formal structures. This variety is generously represented here, even if, as a result of Page’s allegiance to ‘a broad church’ of Australian poetry and his wish to represent its full range of tendencies in a way that will speak to a congregation of ‘average reader[s]’, the collection treads lightly in the realm of experimental or avant-garde poetry.
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