Thursday, 17 February 2011

Les Murray

I can't quite make up my mind about Les Murray. As a Catholic poet who could well be in with a chance of winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, he certainly can't be ignored.

You can read a number of his poems here; there's an interesting interview, in which he talks about his faith (among many other things), here; there's a review from Standpoint here and a profile from the Guardian here.

Although I like Murray's emphasis on what he calls "presence", I am not quite convinced by some of his bolder claims. 'Distinguo', for example, is a fascinating poem but is it really true that prose is protestant-agnostic and poetry Catholic? And what do we make of (the last stanza in particular) of this poem? Murray routinely dedicates his books "to the glory of God" but don't turn to his poetry if it's the Australian equivalent of Hymns Ancient and Modern that you're after.

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