ISBN: 9780977578740 • 60 pp. pbk • RRP: 23.95
Thinking – joyous and sly – is the mark of these poems by Petra White.
They are odes, elegies, lyric sequences and compact near-sonnets – classical forms of a strong verbal music: a chiming among consonants and syllables, a flexing of line on line, playing into the mind’s play, making poetry’s invitation to be uttered. Petra White invests them with free-verse vigour, while confidently drawing in some of pentameter’s gifts of cadence for phrasing.
She leans to themes of growing up, yet autobiography is barely the point. ‘Grave’ gazes as at a mirror image of a cult childhood. ‘Highway’, written recently, thinks back into a hippie journey at twenty: ‘I’ sits very lightly – just visible – in these poems, and in the book. ‘Southbank’, about office work, is satire, and affection.
Her concern is quite general: to say something about our time and place, and the surprise of its opening out to worlds of otherness.
The Incoming Tide was shortlisted for the 2007 Judith Wright Calanthe Prize in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. It received ‘Honourable Mention’ in ‘The Age’ Poetry Book of the Year 2007.
Here is a selection of poems from The Incoming Tide.
Reviews:The Incoming Tide