Dennis Haskell reviews 'Dawn the Proof' by Tony Page, 'Headwaters' by Anthony Lawrence, and 'Gods and Uncles' by Geoff Page

Dennis Haskell reviews 'Dawn the Proof' by Tony Page, 'Headwaters' by Anthony Lawrence, and 'Gods and Uncles' by Geoff Page

Dawn the Proof

by Tony Page

Hybrid Publishers, $25 pb, 87 pp, 9781925272239

The last two lines of Tony Page's Dawn the Proof (Hybrid Publishers, $25 pb, 87 pp, 9781925272239) ask 'how to seize / the grains of now'. One of Page's (implicit) answers is to relate the present to the past – a poem can provide a 'glimpse / through history's chink' – but the relationship is not just to the human past. The title poem concerns 'Geography's vastness', which 'weighs anchor and sails / across the world's mind'. Space and time have a vastness that dwarfs the human, but humans are consequential because they provide consciousness; it takes a human to recognise that vastness. This is a stance which just about constitutes the norm in developed Western nations: agnostic, seeking meaning with due humility, aware of others and conscious of our limited knowledge of them, curious about other times and other cultures, and knowing that some meanings are culturally constituted. It is certainly shared in the three books reviewed here. It is not a bad stance from which to write poetry, and its commonality is something to be celebrated.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Dennis Haskell

Dennis Haskell

Dennis Haskell’s most recent book is Acts of Defiance: New and Selected Poems (2010). He is a Research Fellow at the Westerly Centre, University of Western Australia, and a past Chair of the Australia Council’s Literature Board.

Leave a comment

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

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login 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 comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.