In this long-awaited second collection, award-winning poet Rebecca Edwards distills the experience of physical and mental trauma; the breakdown of her relationship with her eldest daughter, the attrition of mental illness. Each poem is an act of salvage, commemorating and celebrating the small, the overlooked, the voiceless and unloved. An artist throws his pots into the Brisbane River. Four dementia patients plot their escape from a nursing home. A woman mourns the end of a relationship at its conception. A man sees an ultrasound of his daughter and falls in love. Pain is forced to sing. The reader is asked to look again, to look closely, to see differently those things in themselves and others which convention frames as ugly or shameful, or insignificant. Subversive, quietly political, intellectually tough, exquisitely observed, the poems question what it is to be Australian, to be an outsider, to be human, to be uneasy in the world.
“While many threads run through this sometimes simmering, sometimes striking, sometimes searing collection, the ideas of becoming human and unbecoming human are the most prominently embroidered…These are poems of mortality and morality: a quality more personal, and thus more human, than ethics…radiant, joyous, and rapturous as the birds buoyed by the wind currents that flow through this collection.”
ALISON CLIFTON, Stylus Lit