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Mappings of the Plane
New Selected Poems
Edited by Greg Kratzmann and Chris Wallace-Crabbe
RRP: GBP 18.95
ISBN: 978 1 847773 65 4
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Australian, Women
Published: May 2009
232 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Language is not a perfect game,
and if it were, how could we play?
The world's more than the sum of things
like moon, sky, centre, body, bed,
as all the singing masters know.
from 'Thought is Surrounded by a Halo' by Gwen Harwood
Gwen Harwood (1920-1995) is one of the best loved Australian poets of the twentieth century - and a fierce prankster, who published poems under half-a-dozen names and identities. By turns poignant, sensuous and mischievous, passionately musical, her poetry is marked by sure intelligence and a quicksilver, anti-authoritarian wit.
This new selection of her poetry from 1943 to her death makes the full range of the work accessible for the first time to poetry-lovers in the northern hemisphere. With an introduction by the leading Harwood critic Gregory Kratzmann and the Australian poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe, who corresponded with Harwood, the selection includes hitherto little-known work along with poems which have become part of the central canon of Australian poetry.
from Poems (1963)
At the Water's Edge
The Glass Jar
'I am the Captain of My Soul'
In the Park
O Could One Write As One Makes Love
from Poems/Volume Two (1968)
At the Arts Club
To A.D. Hope
from Poems 1969-1974
Dust to Dust
An Impromptu for Ann Jennings
Carnal Knowledge I
Carnal Knowledge II
Night Thoughts: Baby & Demon
Meditation on Wyatt II
'Thought Is Surrounded by a Halo'
Father and Child
from The Lion's Bride (1981)
The Lion's Bride
Mappings of the Plane
Evening, Oyster Cove
Wittgenstein and Engelmann
A Quartet for Dorothy Hewett
'Let Sappho Have the Singing Head'
A Little Night Music
The Sea Anemones
Death Has No Features of His Own
A Scattering of Ashes
Mother Who Gave Me Life
from Bone Scan (1988)
Class of 1927
I.M. Philip Larkin
The Sun Descending
Schrodinger's Cat Preaches to the Mice
Night and Dreams
Forty Years On
Sunset, Oyster Cove
from The Present Tense (1995)
Songs of Eve I
The Owl and the Pussycat Baudelaire Rock
from Collected Poems 1943–1995
(Formerly uncollected poems)
The Dead Gums
'Can These Bones Live?'
The Speed of Light
Eloisa to Abelard
Abelard to Eloisa
Poet and Peasant
' "Wolfgang," said father Leopold'
In Memoriam Sela Trau
Two poems by Alan Carvosso (Uncollected)
O Sleep, why dost thou leave me?
On Wings of Song
Awards won by Chris Wallace-Crabbe Short-listed, 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry in the NSW Premier's Literature Awards (Rondo)
Praise for Chris Wallace-Crabbe 'One constant of Chris Wallace-Crabbe's poetry has been his lexical range, his zest for injecting the demotic into his work. Wallace-Crabbe's poetry gambols about in the whole gamut of language's expressive possibilities'
Mark Prendergast, Tears in the Fence, no.70, 2019. pp. 132-137
'Wallace-Crabbe may be in love with language, especially the colloquial, the quirky and the idiosyncratic, but he also has "something to say". Rondo is rich in elegy and acknowledgement.'
Geoff Page, Sydney Morning Herald
'Prefacing one of his new poems, Wallace-Crabbe quotes D. H. Lawrence: "You just walk out of the world and into Australia." Here it is the other way round. You walk out of a Wallace-Crabbe poem and into the world.'
Alastair Niven 'A witty, endearingly slangy, yet unostentatiously philosophical Australian poet'.
Times Literary Supplement 'His allies are words and he uses them with the care of a surgeon and the flair of a conjuror.'
Peter Porter 'Wallace-Crabbe engages the most serious subjects in a frame of mind at once vulnerable and humorous. His personae may be shackled to the mast of slang, conceit, and bathos, but the song of the Siren is nevertheless nobly clear in these poems.'
Mary Kinzie, Poetry (Chicago) 'There is certainly an immense and joyous energy in the book and it mixes intellectual experience of excitement and doubt with personal experience of exaltation tinged by reminders.. of mortalily.'
Martin Duwell, The Australian '...in his valuing of both the aesthetic and the ordinary as the realms of humanity, he always reminds us - despite what the end has to offer us all - of a different kind of weather, one where, even as darkness is falling, ''the lit clouds yet / sail sweetly over us / inhabiting a daylight of their own''.'
David McCooey, Sydney Morning Herald '...in his valuing of both the aesthetic and the ordinary as the realms of humanity, he always reminds us - despite what the end has to offer us all - of a different kind of weather, one where, even as darkness is falling, ''the lit clouds yet / sail sweetly over us / inhabiting a daylight of their own''.'
David McCooey, Sydney Morning Herald
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