Poetry

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Wild' by Libby Hart

Peter Kenneally
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Libby Hart’s new collection is ornate and knotty in a way that the reader would never divine from its cover, which is clear and white, with ‘wild’ in plain green typescript. It is essentially a bestiary, with birds of all kinds, as well as other creatures, including humans, in wild places, blown by winds and salt spray, or bringing wildness to ‘settled’ hu ...

Bridget Vincent reviews 'Broken Hierarchies' by Geoffrey Hill

Bridget Vincent
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

In his November 2010 lecture delivered as Oxford Professor of Poetry, Geoffrey Hill tested the idea that poetry might constitute a form of perjury. He acknowledged that ‘this is a deeply pessimistic view: many would say anachronistic’. Showing that language is an imperfect and even fallen medium which presents moral hazards to its users was not, however, the ses ...

Geoff Page reviews 'Selected Poems' by Evan Jones

Geoff Page
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Evan Jones’s Selected Poems is more than timely: its author was born in 1931. In an introduction (or ‘Personal Appreciation’), fellow Melbourne poet Alex Skovroncomplains that ‘Evan’s work has not always received the attention it deserves, especially in recent years’. It is worth pausing a moment to consider why this should be so.

Jones is ...

‘Lending printed eloquence to a poem’ comes from ‘Alas’, Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s elegiac tribute to Seamus Heaney. There is eloquence aplenty in this fine collection of more than a hundred and twenty poems edited by poet Geoff Page, someone who understands that eloquence speaks in many tones and in various formal structures. This variety is generously repre ...

Geordie Williamson explores the personal and wondrous world of critic and poet Clive James in his Notebook 2006–2014.

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Geoffrey Lehmann reviews 'Exhibits of the Sun' by Stephen Edgar

Geoffrey Lehmann
Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Exhibits of the Sun is Stephen Edgar’s tenth collection of poems. Born in 1951, he is now ripe for a major Collected Poems. With careful pruning of some lesser pieces, such a book will display the full range of his work, which marries virtuosic technique with powerful emotion and intellect.

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Of all the books published in the United States last year, only three per cent were of foreign origin. This year is hardly likely to be any different. So it is something of a wonder that this considerable and imaginative collection of modern Australian poetry was produced in the unlikely setting of the University of Louisiana. Professors Jack Heflin and William Ryan ...

In ‘Late Works’, the last poem in Black Inc.’s new selection of Gwen Harwood’s poetry, a dying poet, determined to pen her ‘late great’ poems, calls from her hospital bed for paper. The nurse, misunderstanding, brings toilet paper, much to the poet’s chagrin. It is a typical Harwood inversion ...

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During a visit to Adelaide in 2013 as a keynote speaker at the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies ‘Re-imagining Italian Studies’ conference, Professor Martin McLaughlin (Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian Studies and Fellow of Magdalen College) made the following observation about Clive James’s translation of The Divine Comedy:

There are m ...

Rose Lucas reviews 'Palace of Culture' by Ania Walwicz

Rose Lucas
Friday, 31 October 2014

Reading the poetry of Ania Walwicz is a little like being drawn into a trance: the density of the prose-like lines; the disorientation of the lack of punctuation; the repetition of certain words, phrases, alliterations. It is not a poetry that can be read in short bursts. Each poem is a commitment to a vision, to a mind-space explicitly shaped by the intensity and d ...