210 x 148 mm
The eyes catch a black bird close to an eerie sun. Instantly, a poem: an accident of composition. Or a tree, rock, light from a story heard, dreamt, read or remembered returns as if it were the only tree, rock, light in the planet. The poet is caught, returned to her first heart: poetry.
After four novels, Merlinda offers seventy-six poems from the stillness of contemplation to the spinning of tales, then to passage across different histories. Glass becomes eternal greens underwater, fish gossip about colonisation, a gumnut turns dissident, and the dreams of Captain Cook and Pigafetta circumnavigate the globe leaving a trail of blood, beads, and the scent of cloves. But in between, the poet hopes: ‘there could be accidents of kindness here.’
In her latest collection of poetry, award-winning author Merlinda Bobis traces the accidents of art and life. Drawing on the journal of Pigafetta whose writings have become an accident of history, Merlinda Bobis composes with an attuned ear and her poems are rich with imagery; with breath and heart.
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A very vivid work. Sometimes immediately sensitive/sensual, sometimes deliberately rough-edged, but always well-expressed, well-principled and well-considered, and always thankfully ‘still tuning in’.
In these troubled times tainted with fear, hate, and despair, ‘there is hope for us,’ the poems assure us. In them I hear an exquisite polyphony of voices: passionate and poised, sensuous and serene, lyrical and philosophical. Like incantations, these poems ask to be read and heard aloud.
The volcanics of poem and story are among [Bobis’] driving forces. But here ‘the weight of what we have written’ carries a new urgency. What is at stake is the deep kinship of all life mediated by our own species. Just as a ‘tiny gumnut’ is a ‘primeval dissident’, so the ‘presuming poet’ must keep ‘tuning in’. Awe, grief, joy, love are among her companions of choice. The journey leaves none untouched.
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