ISBN: 9780980526950 • 70 pp. pbk • RRP: 24.95
Over his long career Mark O’Connor has made his poetic homes in a succession of Australian regions. Indeed from the time of Homer much of the best literature has been regional. It knows its own place so well that it has no need to be consciously universal; rather the world of readers comes to it.
Pilbara alternates brief informative prose with bursts of magnificent free-verse lyric. O’Connor’s gift is for bringing a large array of knowledge to bear in observations of delicate precision, combining awe with a quiet humour. The vastness of Western Australia’s dry Pilbara is perceived in these poems, yet not allowed to dominate over its nooks and intimacies – the lives of birds, flowers, trees, and the unexpectedness of water.
The 3.65 billion-year geological history of some of the oldest solidified land surfaces on our planet forms an underpinning. The work effortlessly takes in pre-history, history and ecology, along with current human realities like mining and grazing. ‘Archaean land, in the grip of modern raptors.’
Here is a selection of poems from Pilbara.