Puncher & Wattmann
by John Tranter
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Heart Starter is John Tranter’s twenty-fourth book of poems. It is made up of three parts: some poems related to The Best of the Best American Poetry 2013, some poems related to The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of ‘Poetry’ Magazine, and thirty or so poems, mainly rhymed sonnets, written by Tranter in recent years. In the case of the first two parts, the author started with loose drafts which borrowed the end-words of each line of some poems in each of the two books concerned. The poems engage in a typically oblique way with North American poetic culture, and with the world of poetry in general, and sometimes speak harshly about the nature of ‘poetic insight’. The formal poems towards the end of the book take a bleak and sometimes humorous look at the contemporary world.
Reviews and information on other websites
Heart Starter review: Tranter riffs on the terminal words of American poems, Geoff Page in the Sydney Morning Herald, September 2015
John Tranter’s ‘Heart Starter’ takes cues from others’ verses, Gregory Day in The Australian, October 2015