Mathew Abbott

Mathew Abbott lectures at Federation University Australia. He plays in Life and Limb. His first book of poems, wild inaudible, is available from Australian Poetry.

Mathew Abbott Reviews Justin Clemens

What was mock epic? I use the past tense because the genre is thought to have died in the nineteenth century. According to a recent study by Professor Ritchie Robertson, a Queen’s College fellow and Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature at Oxford University, mock epic died because epic lost its authoritative status: it was only possible to write a real mock epic in a time ‘when serious epics were being written and read in large numbers, manag[ing] to attain a position of cultural authority remotely comparable to that of Homer, Virgil, or Milton.’ Mock epic needed something prestigious to mock; when the epic lost its prestige mock epic lost its reason for being.

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the gulls her voice is fixed to tense the drum the neck, hair clear on end, the gull her voice to what she’ll call the flock of them, each one clawed as human talk: grip let the arc of her …

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The Lungs Themselves

You will hear

in the expanding lungs.

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