Art of Poetry
David Malouf turns eighty this month, improbably. To mark his birthday, UQP has published a new poetry collection by Malouf. ABR Poetry Editor reviews Earth Hour in this issue.More
It’s not just history that is written by the victors, but the encyclopedias, too. The eighteenth-century encyclopedias, such as Diderot’s Encyclopédie, were the projects of emergent superpowers, evidence of both the Enlightenment dream of universal knowledge and burgeoning colonial impulses. (That the Encyclopedia Britannica was an initiativ ... More
To begin at the beginning. ‘When the first Pakeha ship came,’ Te Horeta told the explorer Charles Heaphy, ‘I was a lad … [about twelve years old].’ Watching the ‘white people’ row ashore, ‘paddling with their backs to the way they were going’, the boy and his companions ‘thought they must have eyes behind their heads’.
Conquering ... More
‘To choose the best, among many good,’ says Dr Johnson in his ‘Life of Cowley’, ‘is one of the most hazardous attempts of criticism.’ The truth of this maxim is borne out nicely in the controversy surrounding – or perhaps emanating from – Rita Dove’s new selection of twentieth-century American poetry. That The Weekend Australian should hav ... More
I can name many Australian creators of literature. Let not our historians depress them with proofs that they are merely creators of Australian literature.
(W.A. Amiet, Meanjin Papers)
I first discovered Australian literature in Argentina. While I was there studying Argentinian literature at ... More
Stumbling round the house absent-mindedly or in the off-hours, I wonder where the economy-sized fish tank came from; or the dictionary of some unexpectedly eloquent Oceanian language; or the errant slab of copper sulphate (did some friend or enemy leave it?). Then I remember that it’s the new Australian poetry anthology I am reviewing, the thick end of 1100 large ... More
With 1086 pages of poems and critical biographies, Australian Poetry Since 1788 – the third anthology co-edited by Robert Gray and myself – is by far the largest anthology of Australian poetry to date, and at least twice the size of its predecessors. Perhaps controversially, it has fewer poets than many earlier anthologies, with only 174 named poets. Bu ... More
In a 1995 interview for the Paris Review, Ted Hughes was asked if the 1960s boom in translated poetry, particularly with series such as the Penguin Modern European Poets, had influenced poetry written in England. ‘Has it modified the British tradition!’ he replied. ‘Everything is now completely open, every approach, with infinite possibilities. Obviou ... More
It’s the voice, isn’t it, of a master, so unmistakably in command of a music that is inseparable from the personal modesty that is its signature, which belies all grandeur and refuses to take credit for the gift but has it nonetheless in abundance. When Craig Sherborne read the last poem in this Selected Poems, ‘After Schiller’, at the Melbourne mem ... More