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This review is taken from PN Review 99, Volume 21 Number 1, September - October 1994.

FEU D'ESPRIT
JOHN FORBES New and Selected Poems, (Angus & Robertson) $12.95 (Aus.)
S.K. KELEN: Dingo Sky, (Angus & Robertson) $14.95
JOHN KINSELLA: Full Fathom Five, (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, PO Box 320, South Fremantle, Western Australia 6162)
JOHN KINSELLA: Syzygy, (Fremantle Arts Centre Press)
ELUNED LLOYD : Inside the Moontree, (Metro Arts Pamphlet Poets Series, 109 Edward Street, Brisbane 4000)
GARY MALLER: Night Breathing, (Metro Arts Pamphlet Poets Series)
ANNA CAMERON: Mission Brown Chihuahua, (Metro Arts Pamphlet Poets Series)
MARIA FRESTA: Mix Don't Blend, (Metro Arts Pamphlet Poets Series)

The current debate in Britain concerning the nature of political poetry has been woefully dogged by misunderstanding and misrepresentation. Political experience is only a part of a Milton's experience, a Wordsworth's, an Auden's. Wordsworth in church in Book X of The Prelude, isolated by his love of France from fellow-worshippers praying for British victories, is as moving as Wordsworth surprised by joy. The political man is as much a man, as entire in feeling and intellectual response, as the man who loves celandines and butterflies and Lucy. I'd like to think this needed no pointing out, but it seems that to some contemporaries love, or the natural world, or what the newscasters call human interest stories, are all admissible subjects for poetry, but political matters are not. Many questions are begged by this censorship. The fact, furthermore, that much political poetry is written at a remove (geographical, technical) from the events is so unpalatable to the editors of the magazine Printer's Devil that they too have reached ...


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