Poem of the Week - Andrew Sant reads 'Tamarillos'

Poem of the Week

Poem of the Week - Andrew Sant reads 'Tamarillos'

Poem of the Week

In this episode of 'Poem of the Week' Andrew Sant reads 'Tamarillos'. ABR Editor, Peter Rose, introduces Andrew who then reads and discusses his poem.



Vertigo is nowhere
where they are, and time,
too, seems suspended.
Ovoid, working on ripeness
dozens make no demands
on the branches, light,
they might be, as blown eggs,
easily out of reach among
the sunlit leaves. Tamarillos,
tree tomatoes, tomates de ârbol
or whatever name holds them aloft
in a nation's esteem, these
exotics, close to the window,
are merely mute absorbers
of birdcalls and banter,
no-one's gift to cuisine;
a slow over-the-summer
accumulation, providing
silence with a shape
like a form of percussion
never to be struck.
In their plenty, they are polished
and smooth experts
at deferment, unusually
snobbish. Elsewhere, in rows,
they're a crop. The
compelling force, it's
beneath them to address,
they hourly thwart; another lofty
thing that makes the fruit look
so perpetually good –
who'd wish to pick any? –
until the first one drops.

Andrew Sant


Andrew Sant was born in London, and came to Australia with his parents in 1962. He has worked in a variety of occupations, including teaching and copywriting. After relocating to Hobart in the late 1970s, Sant founded the literary magazine Island with Michael Denholm in 1979, the pair remaining as co-editors until 1990. In 1989 he was made a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. More recently he has lived in Melbourne, but has also spent considerable time in writer-in-residence positions overseas: he was writer-in-residence at the University of Peking, in Beijing, China, in 2001; Writing Fellow at Leicester University in the UK between 2002 and 2005, and in 2007–2008, Writing Fellow at the University of Chichester, in West Sussex, UK.

His first collection of poems, Lives, was published by Angus and Robertson in 1980. His most recent collection is The Bicycle Thief and Other Poems (2013)".

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in 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.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.