reading revival: a poetry book blog

reading revival is devoted to promoting australian poetry books and related discussion through reading one book - firstly, duty by geraldine mckenzie. i will choose a new book roughly every 3 months

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

feedback from the book group (via email):

Hi Michael,

I wanted to add a comment to your blog but so far my attempts have not been successful. So this is what I wrote:

Not long ago I discovered that I had a new, and neglected duty, to add to my maternal, domestic,pedagogical, civic and caninical obligations. According to Gilbert Ryle it seems that I have also the 'cognitive duty to perceive the world as clearly as possible'. Coincidentally I friend gave me a copy of 'Duty' which I received gratefully as who better than a poet to assist in carrying out my cognitive responsibilities. Geraldine McKenzie brought clarity to my understanding of the world in two particular ways. First, she the admirable exactness with which she used use particular words to illuminate a scene. For instance, in 'gaudy rills of white/
and blue/untrammelled/onto beach',(p 15) 'gaudy' is just such a word. It taps into the anxiety I feel in looking at paintings of beach scenes, an anxiety created by having seen a retinue of postcard reproductions of such scenes, asking myself whether there is any point in such paintings now. What could it have been like to see the shores of an only Aboriginal untrammelled Australia? This is the same, probably, as never hearing the songs the sirens sang (p 56). The aptly chosen 'rills' of 'blue and white' effectively undercut 'untrammelled' as I feel already the presence of striped and frilled umbrellas and other imprisonments of genteel society. The idea of the unreality of the 'real world' for contemporary western people is picked up later in snare the heart-footed man (p 50) as countryside (perhaps real) is transformed into landscape (representation) by even the act of observing it. Others hearts have trodden all over it long before and left footprints. Writing it is at a further remove again. While the lines 'shades of green & white/do not/submit to language' (p 11) may well describe the English reaction to the Australian landscape, they also express a certain dissatisfaction with words in themselves in the present, the sense I have in using them that they feel so used, and somehow inadequate, or lacking.I feel beset by these 'things' (p 82) and this besetness is wonderfully summed up for me in 'O throw me an orange/anyone' (p 62).

I thought space was at a premium so I squeezed up the quotations. Anyhow, I just wanted you to know I did enjoy the discussion and the reading very much.

Warm regards,and thank you,
Minnie S


At 3:11 AM, Blogger goodman said...

These were my thought and views about this. What about you? Are your thoughts and views similar to mine?

At 10:05 PM, Blogger noshi mano said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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