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Waiting for the Past

Les Murray

Waiting for the Past
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784101 16 9
Categories: 21st Century, Australian, Bestsellers
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2015
216 x 135 x 5 mm
72 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), eBook (PDF)
  • Description
  • Excerpt
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  • Foliage is loose flight
    around the top of orders:
    a branch to wither,
    a giant fig to fruit,
    flowering to be started.

    from Waiting for the Past
    The clearly-focussed lyrics of Les Murray’s Waiting for the Past are rich in topographies and the languages peculiar to them – wonga vines, lyre birds, gum trees, shrike thrushes, tallow boughs, boab trees, the octopus in Wylies Baths killed by sterilising chlorine. With the erasures the modern world brings, words, landscapes and lives descend to the Esperanto of the modern. The poet, with a salutary resistance, rejects the computer and the incursions of the levelling Modern in favour of old-fashioned typewriters, unlikely saints, lived-in places, an Easter rabbit ‘edible and risen’, farming in the spirit of ancestors. This is the past he waits for in scenes unmade by human carelessness, not only in his rural place but across the world. The poems speak of the unspeakable, including old age, vertigo, illness, and the durable resilience of married love.
    Les Murray was born in 1938 and grew up on a dairy farm at Bunyah on the north coast of New South Wales, where he still lives. He studied at Sydney University and later worked as a translator at the Australian National University and as an officer in the Prime Minister's ... read more
    Awards won by Les Murray Short-listed, 2015 T. S. Eliot Prize (Waiting for the Past ) Long-listed, 1994 for the Oxford Chair of Poetry. Winner, 1996 T.S. Eliot Prize for the best collection. (Subhuman Redneck Poems) Winner, 1999 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
     'Waiting for the Past is a brilliant collection by a brilliant poet.'
    Anthony Domestico, Commonweal Magazine
    Praise for Les Murray 'Very occasionally you come across something on the page which makes you think ''you can't do any better than this.'' Perfection achieved.'
    BBC Radio 4's Saturday Review 
    'Les Murray's Taller When Prone shows a poetic master nimbly and lyrically at work. Now seventy-two, Murray writes with the bigness of soul of a person twice his age. This collection adds another chuckie to the cairn of a remarkable personal achievement. A Nobel Prize for that man, please.'
    Robert Crawford, TLS Books Of The Year 2010
    'There is no poetry in the English language now so rooted in its sacredness, so broad-leafed in its pleasures, and yet so intimate and conversational.'
    Derek Walcott, The New Republic
    '...the true spokesman of the whole nation, the custodian of its soul... the most accomplished poet in Australia today, and among the half dozen most successful poets in the English language...'
    Peter Porter
    'Les Murray is writing poetry with a lyric grandeur and verbal resourcefulness that are reassuring.'
    Mark Strand
    'Les Murray is a major Australian poet of our time, full stop.'
    Douglas Dunn
    'It is wonderfully disciplined writing, offering what poetry and nothing else can offer, an art that arrests one's otherwise ever frustrated sense of the richness of the life that lives only for the moment.'
    C.K.Stead, London Review of Books
    'Critics speak of him as one of the finest poets writing in English today, one of the superleague which includes Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and Joseph Brodsky.'
    Blake Morrison, Independent on Sunday
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