What poetry to read while on holidays in Perth WA? Last Sunday I popped into a small second-hand bookshop in Margaret River, The Margaret River Book Exchange - force of habit - and came across and bought a volume of John Kinsella's poetry.
John Kinsella was born in the Perth area and is among Australia's best known poets. I had read some of his work in the US magazine Poetry and was struck by his combination of strong ideas on conservation, nature, environment with a mixture of the traditional and modern as regards form and style.
He describes himself thus: I consider myself a writer of the environment - an ethically and politically motivated writer who perceives each poem, each text I write, as part of a resistance against environmental damage.
This volume, The Hunt (1998), is great, full of the Australian environment, wheatlands, outback, roos, utes, wandoo trees, emus. The narratives and titles like Death of a Farm Boy and Death of an Infant remind you of Robert Frost but others like The Machine of the Twentieth Century Rolls Through the High-Yielding Crop and Dematerialising the Poisoned Pastoral challenge in a way Frost never did.
The text of all the poems in the collection is here.
There are sound files of John Kinsella readings at PennSound here.
He shares a blog here.