ESSAYS



LAND Editorial

Images courtesy of the editors When we chose to edit an issue of Cordite Poetry Review around the theme of ‘Land’, it was with an interest in the inherent openness of the word. Similarly, we came without a strong affiliation …

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The Land as Breath: Can Poetic Forms Be Metaphors for Landscapes?

Ben WalterWe are standing in the midst of a football field doubled in size and then doubled again; a great, flat oval of water covered by streaks of green sedge that strike up from the surface like spindly grass. It’s a wetland, but one that has spent the last few years of drought as land; this year, the heavy winter rains that have filled the island’s hydro dams have tipped this landscape into living water.

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Concrete: A Shikoku Pilgrimage

A long day of road walking out of Tokushima. Twenty-five, twenty-six kilometres including five hundred metres of gravel before and after Temple 18. Rosie and I left the hotel at about 7:15am and walked along one of the main arterial roads. It was like walking from Perth to Armadale along Albany Highway during peak hour.

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World of Feelings: Ghassan Hage, Bruce O’Neill, Magic Steven and the Affective Dimensions of Globalisation

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Un(dis)closed: Reading the Poetry of Emma Lew

As with contemporaries like Claire Gaskin (Paperweight) and Kate Lilley (Versary, particularly ‘Mint in Box: A Pantoum Set’), Emma Lew has turned to fixed poetic forms like the pantoum and the villanelle. Constraint is both formally enacted and thematically explored.

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Architecture, Poetry and Impressions of a Bendigo Chinese Doctor, James Lamsey

What have architecture and poetry got to do with property? This is a core question in the poetry collection ‘signs of impression’, which explores the operation of possession in a settler colonial context. It does so through the story of James Lamsey, a Chinese doctor, prolific proprietor and philanthropist who forged a space for himself in the regional Victorian city of Bendigo in the late 19th Century.

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Possession, Landscape, the Unheimlich and Lionel Fogarty’s ‘Weather Comes’

A great many Australian poets are in an interesting and ironic state of dispossession, although perhaps only a small proportion of them actually feels that way – that proportion, let’s say, whose subjects and predispositions draw them towards the landscape, its flora and fauna, and their human experience thereof and thereupon.

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Placeways in the Anthropocene: Phyllis Webb’s Canadian West Coast

Change is the true nature of every place we inhabit, everything we are. I live on what was an island that became, in time, a peninsula only to – one day in the not too distant future, with the changing climate and rising seas – most likely become an island again. Indigenous peoples travelled down this coast – when it had a different coastline, a different sea level yet again – thousands of years ago.

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NEW CARIBBEAN Editorial

New CaribbeanThe thing for me is, firstly, while I recognise the usefulness of full publication as a rubicon for determining real writers from aspiring ones, I do think there are many things that we can miss. For instance, over the last few years, some local anthologies have been published, representing the poetic output at national levels – Jubilation which celebrated 50 years of Jamaican independence, Ste. Lisi: Poems and Art of St. Lucia, published in honour of one of St. Lucia’s elder statesmen of letters, McDonald Dixon; 100 Poems from Trinidad and Tobago and several anthologies coming out of St. Martin, under House of Nehesi publishing.

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Deconstructing Decolonisation: Victor Questel’s Collected Poems

For those unfamiliar with the Caribbean context, a pan man is a pan (‘steel drum’) player, and a mas’ man’ is a participant in the masquerade. They are key figures in the annual Trinidad Carnival: a festival which creolised the quasi-pagan, pre-Lenten festivities of the white plantation class in the slave era and Canboulay (French Trinidadian Creole for ‘cannes brulées’, or burnt cane), a celebration at least as old as emancipation (1834), in which those who had been enslaved re-enacted the rounding up of slaves that occurred when sugar cane illicitly had been burnt.

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She’ll Chew You Up: Notes on Safiya Sinclair’s Cannibal and Tiphanie Yanique’s Wife

Photo of the author by Josh Begley Writing about the novel form in her 1971 essay, ‘Novel and History, Plot and Plantation,’ Jamaican novelist and theorist Sylvia Wynter said that ‘the novel form is in essence a question mark.’ It …

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NO THEME VI Editorial

No Theme viIt was a great privilege, if a little overwhelming (I had about 1,800 poems to read), to edit this edition of Cordite Poetry Review and, as it is not themed, I had the luxury of choosing poems on various subjects. I have tried to make the issue varied but also unified by my aesthetic principles.

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