Les Murray is an iconoclast poet. His style is very much his own and while his precedents are apparent in ee cummings, John Berryman, and even Gerard Manley Hopkins, his voice remains one of a singer on the plains of the Australian landscape. This collection of short poems forces him (by choice) into brevity and for him this is not an easy assignment. Each poem is indeed like a photograph of a captured thought or sight or flight of fancy that he then gives to us as though we are in his darkroom, watching the meanings alter with each bath solution. Example:
"THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE Everything except language/knows the meaning of existence./Trees, plants, rivers, time/know nothing else. They express it/moment by moment as the universe. //
Even this fool of a body/lives it in part, and would/have full dignity within it/but for the ignorant freedom/of my talking mind." Terse, funny, touching, self critical.....this is a warm little volume of beautifully wrought poems. Makes you want more.