The award-winning novelist, essayist, librettist, and short story writer David Malouf began his literary career as a poet, and now, in Earth Hour, he has returned to his beginnings.
In his early books, Bicycle and Neighbours in a Thicket the most striking poems were reminiscences of the author's suburban childhood in Brisbane, while the most striking feature of the writing was its syntax, the long sentences spilling over lines and stanzas while calling up, often in lovingly elaborated lists, the particular sights and sounds and scents of a remembered yet lost age. In his new book he returns to that style of writing, though the memories now lie at a greater distance than before, and he has reached 'the Age of the Seven Pills daily'.
All the same, the poems in this book are as fresh and sharply observed as those that first earned Malouf a reputation, as long as forty years ago; they are intimate, natural, and never self-admiring. Earth Hour is a book that is deeply involved with the human spirit and deeply humane; it is a precious rebuttal to the horrors of our time.