Puncher & Wattmann
Rendition for Harp and Kalashnikov
by A. Frances Johnson
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This new collection extends themes taken up in The Wind-up Birdman of Moorabool Street (2012). Environmental degradation and theme park notions of the natural endure. Accordingly, these poems reflect with tenderness, anger and irony on the ways humans chronicle, construct and war upon their natural environments. ‘Rendition’ puns on the idea of a song lyric, translation, surrender and also torture. In the anti-pastoral, anti-war poems offered here, groups of human beings and individuals are also shown as either tragically marginalized, lost or held too close. Cautionary ecocritical threnodies splice with personal elegies and historical cultural reflections to suggest a world awash with maladies of different kinds, as if to say that human beings must recalibrate love, death, survival and history as matters of urgency.