Sun Music: New and Selected Poems
About the book
Beveridge is an exacting poet, and the form of her poems contains and intensifies their expression of emotion. Their clarity and drama, their musical language and often playful metaphors, give them an immediate appeal. This is poetry of wonder and enchantment, compassionate in its identification with the ungainly and the vulnerable, the simple and the poor, and insistent in its emphasis on the dignity and self-possession of all that it observes.
About the author
Judith Beveridge is one of Australia most acclaimed poets, taught in high schools and universities, winner of the NSW and Victorian Premiers' Awards, a highly regarded critic, editor and teacher of poetry. She has published six collections of poetry which have won major prizes. She is a recipient of the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal and the Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry. She was poetry editor for Meanjin from 2005 to 2015, and co-editor of the anthology Contemporary Australian Poetry (Puncher & Wattmann, 2016). She teaches in the postgraduate writing program at the University of Sydney.
With joyous fluency and formal mastery, Beveridge's Sun Music: New and Selected Poems draws the reader into an electrifying encounter with language, guiding us through its flexure and torsion, its exacting grace. The selection of new poems in Sun Music linger on both the human and animal worlds, from the delicate texture of Banaras silk sari to cane toads to the act of juicing sugar cane, and are marked by their clarity of perception and attentiveness to textural and sonic detail. The titular elegy, 'Sun Music', is one of several where the poet turns to more personal territory, mourning the loss of a father who found redemption from drinking through bird-watching, finding himself 'intoxicated / by the sea, the sky, the spindrift a new / spell he could steer his life by'. Beveridge takes a similarly ecstatic pleasure in the elements in many of these new poems, which balance the clamouring external landscape with a meditative, introspective interior world that increasingly seeks a language for loss and grief.