New Selected Poems – A Collection of Flowers 1967 – 2009 by Edwin Wilson
Review by Caroline Glen
From: Tidge Wilson Was a Tractor Driver
Edwin’s 11th book of poetry is a rewarding read.
It is obvious he has done his homework, studying the craft and developing an understanding and mastery of structure, syntax, form and rhythm. From this study, he shows a comfortable ego and confidence.
His mixture of rhyming and free verse display a natural feeling for words. He portrays an enviable ability for the sound of words, so assonance resonates with the reader throughout.
They are stand-alone poems; complete from beginning to end. No poem is over-spoken and all are written with a strong sense of rhythm. To make the meat tastier, he sometimes rubs in, the flavour of cynicism.
His poems are mainly of page length. He writes clearly and moves the words along concisely. One is aware there is a quick, intelligent mind behind them. His subjects are various but many poems relate to nature and his path from a Mullumbimby childhood.
From: The House That Pop Built
The house that Pop built is more
real to me than memory –
the pygmy fridge and wind-up phone,
His Master’s Voice and radio,
the piano with its missing teeth,
grandchildren in a row –
the fuel stove sizzling in the wet,
the vegie garden near the step,
molasses smell of sweet and dank –
a ring of kero in the tank.
He loves gardens. As well as being a keen observer of humans and animals, he writes with a botanist’s eye.
A renowned artist, he says poems may well be the most durable of all art forms, being so easily transmitted, remembered or reproduced. He says that the roots of poetry stretch back to preliterate cultures which can make it closer to music than to painting.
Pathos is apparent in his fine poem – Maggie. He laments her loss ‘that wrenched the childhood from the man.’
In Poet’s Return he says:
my mother shakes her head,
abuses me for crimes
and still denies my muse,
still winds me up at 55
The illustrations in the book are beautifully and delicately drawn by Elizabeth McAlpine.
Author: Edwin Wilson
Title: New Selected Poems A Collection of Flowers 1967-2009
RRP: $22AU (GST included)
Published: October 2010
Publisher: Woodbine Press, PO Box 32, Lane Cove NSW 2066