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

Thursday, June 01, 2006

this post is a continuation of my comment on the post of may 27 (kris hemensleys letter). theres something relentless about duty: a workers work is never done/ theres a war on. theres a strong sense that mckenzies/our culture is a war culture. just try 'another nature poem' p36 which begins with pebbles & ants & ends with wilfred owen & ypres: 'offering our softness to/ the sun, the guns a natural mutter..'. these are poems before september 11 & iraq, using wwi & wwii as contemporary themes. (compare jorie grahams more recent use of wwii in 'never') these are intellectual-felt protest poems not dont do it protest poems. this is the world they say. from "into the throttled wood..." p52 'blood like blood. I have found my/ life in/ such rubble... rosa luxembourg in prison was/extraordinarily happy./lived to a deep river. applecored...' & from "who dares..." p53 'who dares. names ... sorting corpses, she still can't find her son./the village chants/mountains ... in an irrelevant room in a partial city/bombs//may or may not be falling...i know birds in that rich tree...' (the design of these two (facing) poems suggest very different human figures - or urns.) 'II' of 'I-V' (p76-7) suggests ecosexuality - could this be the same irrelevant room from "who dares.."?: 'plucking apples/stumbling on/peaches this is/earth with its soft/mouth passing through/windows onto darkening/bodies the a declaration of scarlet/ these fields/these fields' (the last '/' is mckenzies, not a linebreak). the earths soft mouth seems vigorously romantic until it it occurs to me to take it literally..


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