Poetry

Jordie Albiston is Poet of the Month

WHICH POETS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED YOU?

Emily Dickinson, for her economy; Shakespeare, for his geometric patterning; Elizabeth Bishop, for her precision; Manley Hopkins, for his extravagant tensions; Jorie Graham, for her sustained experimentation with form; Lewis Carroll, for his rhythms; Dr Seuss, for his irrepressible sense of whimsy, and the absurd.

AR ... More

Geoff Page reviews 'Jack & Mollie (& Her)' by Jordie Albiston

Geoff Page

Although William Carlos Williams, with some accuracy, claimed that 'every' poem is an 'experiment', the number of successful experiments is relatively rare. Jordie Albiston's new 'long poem' or 'verse novel' (call it what you will) is triumphantly experimental in both technique and content.

In technique, Albiston has done several things which, in other hands ... More

Peter Goldsworthy reviews 'Chorale at the Crossing' by Peter Porter

Peter Goldsworthy

Peter Porter's posthumous collection of poems, Chorale at the Crossing, is preoccupied, understandably, with death – but death was a central preoccupation of his work from the beginning. How could it not be? He lost his mother at the age of nine.

Porter's two Collected Poems (1983 and 1999) were – are – stupendous, exuberant treasure- ... More

Peter Kenneally reviews 'The Fox Petition' by Jennifer Maiden, 'Breaking the Days' by Jill Jones and 'Exhumed' by Cassandra Atherton

Peter Kenneally

From the cover of Jennifer Maiden's latest book (The Fox Petition, Giramondo, $24 pb, 96 pp, 9781922146946), a wood-cut fox stares the reader down. This foreign, seditious animal is the perfect emblem for Maiden's examination of the xenophobia, conformity, and general moral diminution that she sees around her. Giramondo have given Maiden the liberty of an a ... More

Benjamin Madden reviews 'The Poems of T.S. Eliot, Volume 1: Collected and Uncollected Poems' and 'The Poems of T.S. Eliot, Volume 2: Practical Cats and Further Verses' edited by Christopher Ricks

Benjamin Madden

For fifty years after his death, the works of the most influential English-language poet of the twentieth century were unavailable in a scholarly edition. Moreover, Collected Poems, 1909–1962, arranged by T.S. Eliot himself and published in 1963, contained a number of widely recognised textual errors. The publication of The Poems of T.S. Eliot ed ... More

Rose Lucas reviews 'Ground' by Martin Langford, 'Eating my Grandmother' by Krissy Kneen, and 'Now You Shall Know' by Jennifer Compton

Rose Lucas

In their very different ways, these three collections attest that contemporary Australian poetry is alive, robust, and engaging.

Puncher and Wattmann have delivered a generous collection of Martin Langford's most recent poems, Ground ($25 pb, 158 pp, 9781922186751). As we have come to expect from Langford, the voice we find here is strong – passio ... More

Judith Beveridge reviews 'Creating Poetry' by Ron Pretty

Judith Beveridge

This updated and revised edition of Creating Poetry – first published by Edward Arnold in 1987, and then by Five Islands Press in 2001 – is one of few poetry guidebooks written by an Australian poet. One of its pleasing features is that it uses the work of Australian poets, including John Tranter, Geoff Page, Kevin Brophy, Meredith Wattison, Judith Wrig ... More

Philip Harvey reviews 'The Rise of the Machines and other love poems' by Peter Goldsworthy

Philip Harvey
Speaking of the un-
spoken, jokes are a smoky
subspecies

This near-haiku is not so much a final definition of jokes as one definition of poetry. It shows up in Peter Goldsworthy's sequence 'Ars Poetica'. What he means is that the wordplay of jokes we make every day is a microcosm, a type and model of the more grandiose verbal surp ... More

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Prayers of a Secular World' edited by Jordie Albiston and Kevin Brophy

Peter Kenneally

In her introduction to Australian Love Poems (2013), Donna Ward wrote that poems 'are the prayers of a secular world'. Now, aided by editors Jordie Albiston and Kevin Brophy, she brings us a collection that tests this notion. The introduction by David Tacey states its case fervently, with, in this case, a bit too much determination that 'the sacred is inera ... More

Brian Nelson reviews 'Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du mal' by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Jan Owen

Brian Nelson

The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du mal, 1857) is the most celebrated and most influential collection of verse in the history of modern French poetry. Its author, Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), is seen as the embodiment of a sensibility we regard as 'modern'. T.S. Eliot called him 'the greatest exemplar of modern poetry in any language'.

Ba ... More

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