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The Biplane Houses
ISBN: 978 1 857548 93 8
Categories: Australian, Catholic
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 2006
216 x 135 x 5 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Having tacked loose tin panels
of the car shed together
Peter the carpenter walks straight up
the ladder, no hands,
and buttons down lapels of the roof.
from 'The Shining Slopes and Planes'
In his first new volume of poems since Poems the Size of Photographs (2002), Les Murray celebrates the grace and variousness of the world with an unfailing abundance of imagination and linguistic energy. Here is a poet writing at the height of his powers, capturing the richness of life in story-poems, word-plays, history- and myth-makings, aphoristic fragments and domestic portraits, recollections of rural Australia and moments of urban experience. Houses - as home, landscape and metaphor - form a many-sided theme of the book, and as ever Murray's evocation of the natural world is unparalleled in its inventiveness.
Early Summer Hail with Rhymes in O
The Hanging Gardens
The Statistics of Good
Too Often Round the Galleries
Travelling the British Roads
The Kitchen Grammars
The Tune on Your Mind
The Domain of the Octopus
A Dialect History of Australia
For an Eightieth Birthday
On the Central Coast Line
Melbourne Pavement Coffee
Black Belt in Marital Arts
A Levitation of Land
Through the Lattice Door
On the North Coast Line
The Nostril Songs
For a Convert in Boston
The Newcastle Rounds
The House Left in English
Upright Clear Across
The Shining Slopes and Planes
A Stampede of the Sacrifice
The Offshore Island
An Acrophobe’s Dragon
As Night-Dwelling Winter Approaches
The Cool Green
Death from Exposure
Me and Je Reviens
Japanese Sword Blades in the British Museum
The Mare out on the Road
Ends of the Earth
Bright Lights on Earth
Recognising the Derision as Fear
The Physical Diaspora of William Wallace
The Brick Funnel
Sunday on a Country River
Ripe in the Arbours of the Nose
The Weatherproof Jungle Tree
Jet Propulsion Stereo
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.
Praise for Les Murray 'Waiting for the Past is a brilliant collection by a brilliant poet.'
Anthony Domestico, Commonweal Magazine '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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