In this powerful collection Ross Gillett covers a wide poetic landscape — traditional verse forms, carefully honed free verse, exploratory long sequences and a wealth of shorter poems. He covers an equally wide range of experience: family and childhood, love and jealousy, and quietly metaphysical encounters with the energies of land, sea, sky and weather. The sensibility revealed in these poems (a number of which have won or been shortlisted for major Australian poetry awards) is visionary, warm, and often humorous. Here are the best poems from more than ten years of work by a writer committed to a poetry of intensity, complexity and clarity — a rare trio of qualities — based on a strong rhythmic life and an ability to go deep in search of the uniquely true image.
It’s as if “the branches of the earth were holding us up” in this elemental poetry of such warmth and elegance that, in the end, one is simply blown away.
These are poems that take us to the limit. Gillett’s poetry embraces the elements and our own frailty as we intersect with the world and each other. Whether set in a boy’s bedroom or a blustery beach, this poetry allows us to be there, attuned to sounds and textures and the great movements of the human heart.
E. A. Gleeson
These are brave poems that take off into unknown spaces. So deftly phrased, they make the timeless intimate, and the clouds, winds, beaches and rivers timeless.
Catherine de Saint Phalle