The Poetry of Les Murray: Critical Essays

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Macmillan, 2001 - Literary Collections - 176 pages
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Les Murray is acknowledged internationally as Australia's leading poet, yet the criticism of his work has not been commensurate with his substantial reputation.These groundbreaking, new essays range across Murray's considerable output, impressive in their depth as well as their coverage as they reveal the riches of his poetry. They examine its lyrical qualities and its remarkable linguistic inventiveness, its landscapes and 'soundscapes', its biographical qualities, its underlying poetics and world view, including the mid-length poems and the recent verse novel, "Fredy Neptune".This volume is an indispensable companion for everyone with an interest in Australian and world poetry. Contributors include outstanding Murray scholars, new and well known, from overseas as well as Australia. Peter Steele writes of Murray 'watching with his mouth'; Martin Leer produces a brilliant study of the 'poetics of place' and the centrality of the district of Bunyah to Murray's world; Christopher Pollnitz looks at the midlength poems, including "The Bulahdelah-Taree Holiday Song Cycle", Nils Eskestad analyses Murray's soundscapes and Peter Pierce his "Narrowspeak"; Line Henriksen places "Fredy Neptune" in the context of works by Heaney, Walcott and Dante; Bruce Clunies Ross discusses Murray's art of 'cracking normal'; Charles Lock contributes an outstanding essay on "Fredy Neptune" and its underlying ethics and poetics; Noel Rowe rescrutinises the poem on the death of Murray's mother, and Carol Hetherington contributes an invaluable checklist.
 

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Contents

Les Murrays Poetics of Place
15
Folie Topography and Family in Murrays MiddleDistance Poems
43
Les Murrays Soundscapes
64
Fredy Neptunes Democratic Sailor
87
The Art of Cracking Normal Bruce Clunies Ross
110
Justice Sacrifice and the Mothers Poem Noel Rowe
142
A Selective Checklist CarolHetherington
157
Notes on Contributors
175
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About the author (2001)

David Dyergrew up in a coastal town in NSW, Australia, and graduated as dux of his high school in 1984. After commencing a degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Sydney, he soon decided it was not for him.

David went on to train as a ship's officer at the Australian Maritime College, travelling Australia and the world in a wide range of merchant ships. He graduated from the college with distinction and was awarded a number of prizes, including the Company of Master Mariners Award for highest overall achievement in the course. He then returned to the University of Sydney to complete a combined degree in Arts and Law. David was awarded the Frank Albert Prize for first place in Music I, High Distinctions in all English courses and First Class Honours in Law. From the mid-1990s until early 2000s David worked as a litigation lawyer in Sydney, and then in London at a legal practice whose parent firm represented the Titanic's owners back in 1912. In 2002 David returned to Australia and obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of New England, and commenced teaching English at Kambala, a school for girls in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

David has had a life-long obsession with the Titanic and has become an expert on the subject. In 2009 he was awarded a Commonwealth Government scholarship to write The Midni

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