Poetry

'The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Since 1945'

Alexander Howard
Thursday, 27 June 2013

The scene: a cold, bright January day in the snow-covered capital of the United States. The occasion: the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy. Up to the podium steps America’s unofficial poet laureate, eighty-six-year-old Robert Frost. Temporarily blinded by the glare of brilliant sunshine and freshly fallen snow, Frost sets aside the handwritten te ...

There are some poets whose works only seem to come alive when seen in the light of their other poems. Andrew Sant may well be one of these. A Sant poem, read on its own, can often seem thoughtful but rather lightweight; embedded in one of his books, given a context by the surrounding poems, it becomes animated by a set of consistent themes and obsessions.

...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Beast Language' by Toby Davidson

Peter Kenneally
Monday, 27 May 2013

‘Poetry is a long apprenticeship,’ says Toby Davidson at the start of his first collection. He is certainly a poet who has mastered far more than the basics. Beast Language is only seventy-seven pages long, but feels far more substantial. Davidson has travelled a long way: from west coast to east, from novice to scholar ...

... (read more)

In The Resistance to Poetry (2004), James Longenbach claims that ‘Distrust of poetry (its potential for inconsequence, its pretensions to consequence) is the stuff of poetry.’ The Australian poet Laurie Duggan has based a career on a creative distrust of poetry, or at least a certain kind of attitude to ...

... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Confessional Box'

Peter Kenneally
Sunday, 28 April 2013

It’s simple. A young woman, her love for her partner slipping away, looks at their suburb, and him, and their relationship, and writes bronze-clad poetry about it. Then she takes to the bush, describing its towns and picking at its history with the same clear eye she uses to examine her lost love. She combines a photographic exactness with a resounding turn of phr ...

Chris Wallace-Crabbe : 'Mute Poetry, Speaking Pictures'

Chris Wallace-Crabbe
Sunday, 28 April 2013

Simonides of Ceos is said to have declared that ‘Painting is mute poetry, poetry a speaking picture.’ All of us know something of what he means, about our thirst for information from the arts: and, if you like, our scrabbling for the visible within a text. One half of his mirrored pronouncement is verified by those people who, in an art museum, hurry to the cura ...

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'Hotel Hyperion' by Lisa Gorton

Cassandra Atherton
Saturday, 27 April 2013

The camera ottica in the epigraph to Hotel Hyperion alludes to Lisa Gorton’s artful play with shifting perspectives in this luminescent collection of poetry. The reader is invited to put her eye to the lines of poetry as if to a Galilean telescope or ‘perspective tube’. By looking at the poems through the peephole as ...

... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews '150 Motets' by Homer Rieth

Geoff Page
Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Although the Melbourne publisher Black Pepper has a stable of major Australian poets (Stephen Edgar and Jennifer Harrison among them), it is also a house that likes to take chances. The favourable reception accorded Homer Rieth’s 359-page epic poem, Wimmera, in 2009 was defin ...

First, I will bore you with some Chris Wallace-Crabbe statistics. Born in 1934, he has thirty-three ‘new’ poems in his New and Selected Poems, which is an average of about seven poems a year since his last volume, Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw (2008). That is a lot of poems for the second half ...

... (read more)

Mike Ladd reviews '1953' by Geoff Page

Mike Ladd
Friday, 08 March 2013

Geoff Page’s 1953 is set in the town of Eurandangee, which, we learn, is about 650 kilometres north-west of Sydney ...

... (read more)