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‘A creepy little walk’

Toby Fitch’s lyricism and versatility
September 2021, no. 435

Sydney Spleen by Toby Fitch

Giramondo, $24 pb, 103 pp

‘A creepy little walk’

Toby Fitch’s lyricism and versatility
September 2021, no. 435

Sydney-based poet and editor Toby Fitch has spent much of the last decade traversing the field of radical French modernist poets, especially Arthur Rimbaud and Guillaume Apollinaire. That engagement ignited Fitch’s imagination. He began inverting, recombining, mistranslating, and mimicking their techniques in his own poetry. In his new collection, Sydney Spleen, he has made a sophisticated, fresh move that enhances his signature playfulness and tongue-in-cheek poetic antics.

Under the influence of Charles Baudelaire, Fitch has swerved into a mood that is disgruntled, politically disenchanted, derisive and, consequently, outraged. Baudelaire’s Le Spleen de Paris: Petits poèmes en prose (Fitch’s favourite book) and Les Fleurs du Mal are two sources of animation that fuel the poems in Sydney Spleen, as do Apollinaire’s Calligrams.

Pam Brown reviews 'Sydney Spleen' by Toby Fitch

Sydney Spleen

by Toby Fitch

Giramondo, $24 pb, 103 pp

From the New Issue

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Comments (2)

  • Obviously many mines to plumb in the Ethereal City's Underworld.
    Posted by Danny Gardner
    06 September 2021
  • A superb review of a superb collection.
    Posted by Dominique Hecq
    31 August 2021

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