Dog Fox Field: Poems

Les A. Murray, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $19 (0p) ISBN 978-0-374-14314-5
More than 70 poems by the Australian writer ( The Daylight Moon and Other Poems ) offer everything from eloquent natural description to political satire. Murray's rhyming poetry rests solidly in the English tradition. Sometimes it is effective, but he is not a master of verse, and too often veers toward doggerel: ``I think of the heart swarmed round by poems / like an egg beseiged by chromosomes.'' Poems less bound by form and meter are often the best. ``Feb,'' for example, contains some of Murray's most pungent descriptions: ``Weedy drymouth Feb, first cousin of scorched creek stones, / of barbed wire across gaunt gullies, bringer of soldered / death-freckles to the backs of farmers' hands.'' Other memorable poems here include ``The Cows on Killing Day,'' written from the animals' point of view, and ``The Emerald Dove,'' a swirling, Hopkinsian poem about a dove chased by a hawk into the poet's house. But the book would have benefited from further editing, which might have eliminated the weaker poems and shown Murray at his very best. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
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