Puncher & Wattmann
Sunset on Santorini
by David Foster
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You could build this hotel of ours here with a spoon
This rock is soft as cake
And the currants are bombs of black lava
The eruption left in its wake
Oh I'd hate to be town planner
For they dig wherever they can
And they build as far down the cliff as they dare
And then they build further again in Imerovigli
Why would you hang a pool this size
Right off the edge of a cliff?
And given the water is desal
The cost of the water would have to be stiff
And that there's a volcano
I see as I skoll my drink
With a fumarole like passion spent
All snoring and stink and a little bit giggly
Sunset on Santorini is a poetic account of a trip by the poet to the island of Santorini. Also known as Thera, this island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, around 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. It has been theorised that this eruption led indirectly to the collapse of Minoan civilization and also gave rise to the myth of Atlantis. Foster's scope is wide, his themes encompassing The Philokalia of the Eastern Orthodox Church, various heresies of early Christianity, the possibility of equating Australia with Atlantis, the decadence of modern tourist culture and our ever nearing mortality. At times spiritually profound, funny and satirical, David Foster offers us a kind of 4/4 bluesy riff on the fate of the modern soul in 21st century Australia.
David Foster is one of Australia's most celebrated novelists. He has also published two previous collections of poetry, The Fleeing Atalanta (Maximus, 1975) and The Ballad of Erinungarah (Vintage, 1997), which accompanied the Miles Franklin Prize-winning The Glade Within the Grove.