Thursday, July 30, 2009

Soft decaying galaxies...of course

Read some more Seidel, wrote a poem and then read some of Vincent O'Sullivan's Further Convictions Pending (VUP, 2009). O'Sullivan is amazing. Beautiful use of language, and engaging little poems, some of them more accessible than others, but always quite surprising like in Being here:
It has to be a thin world surely if you ask for
an emblem at every turn, if you cannot see bees
arcing and mining the soft decaying galaxies
of the laden apricot tree without wanting
symbols - which of course are manifold - symbols
of so much else? [...]
Bees in 'soft decaying galaxies' - holy fuck, talk about blowing our little poetry reading minds out of the water. I think part of it is the manifest intelligence too. His poems don't dumb down language or make it 'relevant' or whatever, they are unashamedly talking about big things. Quite Wallace Stevensey in that regard and also doesn't not remind me of Michael Palmer's intelligence and mystery and beautiful, images, language and enjambment too. So yeah. Very impressed. Weird how I've kind of skipped over him before. How many other great NZ poets have I done that to?

Also, glad to here Sam Sampson won the Best First Book of Poems at the Montanas. I know that was like a week ago, but news is slow 'round here. Anyone of the three finalists (also Charlotte Simmonds and Amy Brown) deserved to win it, but you know, I guess I'm biased towards Sam's obliqueness. So well done him!

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