|An Extravagance of Poetry
||[Aug. 14th, 2013|11:22 am]
Recently I was privileged to be one of a number of poets asked to read at the launch of Irene Wilkie’s new poetry collection Extravagance. A number of other writers were asked to read, some of us had met at a TAFE class run by well known Australian poet and mentor, Chris Mansell. Others are part of a local Fellowship of Australian Writers group. Of course there was a crossover as some belonged to both.
It’s different reading someone else’s poem rather than one of my own and I hope Irene was happy with it. It’s also interesting to hear someone, other than the poet, read the poems. Several of us each read one and Irene read several. It was a great morning held at our local library and Irene had a good attendance of interested people.
Now to the book - Extravagance. I first heard many of these poems at TAFE as Irene was, with encouragement from Chris Mansell, preparing this collection for submission. It was good to see the collection finally in print. A local photographer Lea Hawkins took the photograph for the amazing cover which looks so much better in real life than it does here. It was great to see some many local people interested and involved.
I have been slowly working my way through Extravagance, savouring the use of language and the insights offered in this beautiful collection of poems. Irene has a way of choosing just the right words to make you look at scenes and incidents with new eyes.
A few lines that appealed to me from the first poem Behind the Sun are
At night colours die without light except in your head where
dreams are the colours
you own playing real-life movies while you are inert dreams
I also loved the last lines of this poem
Outside in the half-light the sunrise wind
rolls a gumnut down the tiles.
Can’t you just see and hear it?
There are many poems to savour and think about. Some of my favourites were, Heat, Webs, Living Sculpture, Night Harbour, Of Dandelions and Daisies, Daisy Chain, Silo, Child, Opera, Christmas Bush and Slow Breathing. In Escapee the reader feels the terror of a parent with a child in a potentially dangerous situation. This contrasts beautifully with the everyday details once the child is safe. The one which nearly reduced me to tears as it brought back memories of my own was Permanence. Irene has a gift for combining word in a way that makes the words come alive. Extravagance is a book I will return to again and again as I do all my favourite poetry books.
Extravagance is available now from Ginninderra Press
http://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/poetry.html. Irene also has a few copies left, so if you would like one please contact me and I will pass the information on to Irene.
2013-08-14 04:19 am (UTC)
Extravagance by Irene Wilkie
Hello Dale, I am delighted that my book gave you enjoyment and that you have said so to your readers. That means a lot. Also, can we let your readers know that Ginninderra Press published it. I can also supply. I have only twenty left. Would you be kind enough to forward requests to me and I will post asap. Thanks again Irene Wilkie
2013-08-14 10:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Extravagance by Irene Wilkie
My pleasure Irene. I have changed the post a little to put that in.
It's funny how I have nothing to do with poetry for months, and then it rushes back in like a tap turned on for no reason. Yesterday I read some Blake, today I'm trying to resist this collection, simply because I have no time for anything extra and no more room for books! We are trying to de-clutter ahead of downsizing in a few years, and we do not know WHERE to start. "Behind the Sun" is also the title of a very beautiful song by Eric Clapton - one of his lesser known ones I can't find any more. So this "spool movement" took place to a kind of half-remembered sound track. Spooky, that. I really enjoyed this, to my surprise. I thought I'd gotten over poetry, but it seems I haven't.
That's the thing with poetry - it returns like a haunting melody. Have to say neither Dh or I knew that Eric Clapton song. We did a little de-cluttering before we moved here six years ago. Probably should have done more. Oh well! Thanks for dropping by Rosanne.
Edited at 2013-08-15 04:26 am (UTC)
2013-08-16 05:48 am (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know about your blog Dale. I'll put a link to it up on The Hoods Facebook page so that others can track it down as well.
It was good to hear Irene's work and to celebrate it. What a lovely launch it was. I too liked to hear poems in the different voices. It was a great idea and all the readers, being writers, did a good job. I thought Irene's strategy of choosing poems which in some way related to the person reading worked well. The audience loved it.
Such a shame I missed talking to you at the time. By the time I could make my way over, you'd disappeared.
Thanks fro dropping by Chris. it was indeed a lovely launch and a great book.