Cocky’s Joy by Michael Farrell
About the author
Michael Farrell’s previous collections include living at the z, ode ode (shortlisted for the Age Poetry Book of the Year Award), BREAK ME OUCH, a raiders guide (published by Giramondo in 2008), thempark and thou sand. His second collection with Giramondo open sesame (2011) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry. He was the winner of the 2012 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.
About the book
Michael Farrell was born and raised in rural NSW and as the title Cocky’s Joy suggests, many of the poems in this collection are rooted in the bush, which they present as connected to the rest of the world in magical and often hilarious ways. Farrell’s experimentalism doesn’t prevent him from offering moving tributes, to women and lovers, and to scenes recalled from the past. In fact, it is precisely his eye for metaphor and the unexpected combination, for punning and the letter—in both its verbal and visual aspects—that gives his poetry its humour and energy.
Michael Farrell’s Cocky’s Joy is a series of deliberate non-sequiturs, of phrases resonant yet unconnected to the words which have gone before, “slowly edging towards Babel in reverse”, as one poem puts it. “We see the world as a black and white golf course. Constellations like buttons on Apollinaire.” While such sentences, on the surface, make no sense, they are nonetheless suggestive of a particular mind at work. Many of the poems in this book are nothing more than lists of items that have been glimpsed in passing by that mind, or consciousness, and as such they help to create an inadvertent self-portrait of a person whose thoughts are endlessly curious, witty, literate, allusive, with a frame of references that range from the domestic to the cosmic, taking in both high culture and popular media on the way.