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The Quality of Sprawl

I've come across poems by Australian poet Les Murray here and there - in anthologies, online, and in magazines like a recent issue of Poetry London (Autumn '08, above) - but haven't yet bought a collection of his work. I'm thinking of ordering his Selected from Carcanet soon though, as I was reminded of what I admire in his work reading 'The Quality of Sprawl' in Shapcott and Sweeney's excellent Faber anthology, Emergency Kit, last night: the verbal dexterity, originality and often dark humour, though the unswerving certitude of some of his poems can get a bit irritating. Still, 'The Quality of Sprawl' is a fine piece, and one which uses the conversational, narrative style to great effect, I think.

It's one of his more well-known poems, but for those unfamiliar, you can read it here.

Comments

Andrew Shields said…
My favorite Murray is the absolutely overwhelming verse novel "Fredy Neptune," one of the most amazing books I have ever read.

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