David McCooey

David McCooey reviews 'The Lovemakers' by Alan Wearne

David McCooey
Sunday, 01 April 2001

A Geelong psychiatrist once asked someone very like me, ‘What’s the opposite of love?’ It was a bit like a question in a tutorial (psychiatrists and academics do have a thing or two in common). The answer, of course, couldn’t be so obvious as ‘hate’. It was ‘indifference’.

... (read more)

David McCooey reviews 'The Kangaroo Farm' by Martin Harrison

David McCooey
Sunday, 01 February 1998

Martin Harrison’s attentive poetry must be read attentively: the snaking semi narratives move through the landscape as rivers finding their way. The tonal shifts and mixed modes are fundamental to this collection’s many middle-sized poems that are often (even more than in his previous book, The Distribution of Voice) both verse essay and lyric, as Kevin Hart has noted. Not that all this in itself makes for good poetry; there are times when the verbal constructions are a little too odd, a little too free with metaphorical bravura. Why is it that ‘The gift of tongues and sight is platypus’? Other poems play with their referents like a fisher with a fish. Even syntactically straightforward similes such as ‘Mirrored clouds spike themselves with sharp, green shoots / in paddies marked out like holding tanks or Versailles’ lakes’ take a bit of thinking over.

... (read more)

The presence of the Irish ambassador and the muscatel was accounted for by the first theme of the week, which was that of W.B. Yeats and his influence. It is not surprising that a great many Celtic accents could be heard off stage as well as on. Indeed, the previous night saw a private dinner held by the W.B. Yeats Society of W.A. (one of only four Yeats societies in the world) whose only club rule seemed to be that some of Yeats’s poems should be read and suitably appreciated.

... (read more)
Page 5 of 5