Tuesday, April 30, 2013

News at Eleven: As well as a source of such aesthetic

(or political or philosophical) play, [Chris] Wallace-Crabbe's distinctive comedy is always shadowed by an equally distinctive elegiac sensibility. As this book of New and Selected Poems shows, he has become simultaneously grimmer and lighter during the course of his multi-decade career.

One might ascribe a biographical source to the grimness (the death of Wallace-Crabbe's adult son), but even in his first elegy for his son--called, without adornment, An Elegy--there is a hint of the comic in the poem's final, tragic (and weather-filled) lines: "so that I wish again/it were possible to pluck my son/out of dawn's moist air//by the pylon-legs/in that dewy-green slurred valley/before he ever hit the ground,//to sweep under his plunge/like a pink-tinged angel/and gather him gasping back into his life".

from Sydney Morning Herald: Something extra in the ordinary


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