Dennis Greene’s poetry is meditative, wry and questing, with surprising irruptions of strangeness. It is built deftly and surely, grounded in subtleties and nuances of crafting and structuring; individual poems gather together as a greater tonal architecture. Literary shades such as Yeats, Wilfred Owen and Blake provide points of engagement or departure; as do figures like Magellan, Churchill, Darwin. Shakespeare murmurs everpresent in the wings. With curiosity and insistency Greene finds poems hidden in the light and shade of the everyday—in husband and fatherhood, domesticity, the West Australian landscape. With quirky narratives both mythic and quotidian, moving discoveries, messages in bottles, he might be one of the explorers he writes about, returned but taking us via tellings and re-tellings to the edge of the mapped, the known, for shiverand- goosebump glimpses of ‘dragons’.
“Dennis Greene’s Here Be Dragons juxtaposes the imposing Western Australian landscape in poems such as ‘Stirlings’ and ‘One Tree Bridge’ with the tantalising ineffability of the undiscovered country. The collection’s title refers to the way in which English mapmakers used to indicate the edges of their known world. In this way, Greene charts untraversed landscapes of the mind and what lies beyond understanding.”
The Australian Book Review