Tag: poetry

A review of Songs of the Last Chinese Poet by Ouyang Yu

This collection, which was short-listed for the 1999 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for multicultural writings, is not an easy read. Nor will it leave the reader with a warm sense of transcendence. The language is confronting, defensive, and graphic. But…

A review of Another Universe: Friendly street poets 28

Some poetry, even good poetry, forces the reader to work hard, uncovering meaning from obscurity, but Another Universe isn’t like that at all. These poems were clearly designed to be understood quickly, sharing their meaning in a straight hit from…

Interview with Ouyang Yu

The “Angry Chinese Poet” is true to form in this feisty interview which looks at his new collection of work, about labels, on writing in two languages, the nature of ‘academics,’ his literary journal Otherland, migrants, predjudice, and his many rejections.

A review of New and Selected Poems by Ouyang Yu

Despite (and perhaps at times, because of) the anger and rejection, Ouyang Yu’s voice has become a quintessentially Australian voice. We are almost all migrants, and most people have felt the kind of self and societal alienation that many of these poems touch on. This deep-seated irony is obvious enough to add power even to those poems that anchor themselves in silliness.

A review of Broken Land by Coral Hull

This is very powerful, and more so because it doesn’t rely on appealing to the reader’s intellectual sense of right or wrong. It is about pain and beauty, about loss and longing, and the full loss of life is as…

Interrogations at Noon by Dana Gioia

The variety and range is considerable with such a brief collection. I found myself unable to complete the reading process when I reached the last poem in the book and went back to the beginning to reread some of the…

A review of The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney

The difference is startling but the poetry is unmistakable and convincing in its authenticity. But may it be the authenticity of Heaney rather than of Sophocles? Reviewed by Bob Williams The Burial at Thebes by Seamus Heaney Faber and Faber…

A review of The Gods of Winter by Dana Gioia

Poetry is not popular, perhaps because unlike fiction it demands a reader capable of giving all of his or her attention to the text. Dana Gioia’s own book (Can Poetry Matter?) is the best examination of the problems that poets…

A review of Nosferatu by by Dana Gioia

The poetic needs of a libretto can be reduced to very few. The words assist the music and are absorbed into it. Music must bolster up the more pedestrian passages but needs effective words to support dramatic action and vivid…