Saturday, March 8, 2008

Angela Cleland in Smiths Knoll 41

Angela Cleland has a memorable four-liner called 'No Backwards Glance, Departure Gate 5' in Smiths Knoll 41. The poem not only is short but also compact: there's a lot going on. A memory "surfaces like a cold white face", paralleling the famous "wet, black bough", the station of the metro being updated to a gate lounge, but the effect is one of image turned to epigram, and closed cadentially with full rhyme.

1 comment:

collectedworks said...

I neither know Angela Cleland nor Sean Elliot whom you discuss here; of course any enthusiastic mention whets the appetite and I'll probably follow them up. However, you've reminded me of the proposition, "poems not poets". For me it's as often lines or parts of poems as it is the complete poem or a poem or two as much as the poet's complete works that sustains me or maintains that particular poet in my mind. In fact, though of course there are great poets and great poems, the one or two lines we often find representing a poet of antiquity, a line or two in the Chinese or Greek anthology, better represents my own investment in poetry than the, admittedly, great works. That is to say, that anything might survive the longer & shorter passage of time fills me with wonder & love... That adjacency of the memorable & the transient... Yes... At least I'm saying that this attitude or disposition sits alongside the notion of great poems, poems as great works of art... Welcome to the blogosphere David! Best wishes this beautiful summery early autumn Melbourne day... Kris Hemensley