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Ryan JS. Introduction to 'New Collected Poems: 1952 - 2012'. 2012.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/11146
Introduction to 'New Collected Poems: 1952 - 2012'
A number of elegantly presented volumes of highly individualistic poetry by Edwin Wilson (b. 1942) have been published over the last thirty years. They have each contained representative selections of his verse, always carefully ordered and contrasted, the poems themselves having often appeared in earlier or completed form in such literary periodicals as 'Poetry Australia', or environmentally concerned journals such as 'Habitat Australia' or 'Rainforest Australia'. These latter outlets were totally appropriate for much of his work, since many of the often botanically focused poems had been illustrated most appropriately by the facing delicate, evocative and lyrical pencil drawings of Elizabeth McApline. ... The resultant canon is a bemused yet agonisingly sincere questing; to find the family's lost memories and his own 'place' - to know how to relate the present to the past in an almost religious search, memory sustained, for truth and for personal understanding; to justify his own existence, compromised as he is by the pressures of middle life. What cannot but move every reader is the long sequence of personal yet 'subtle, wry meditations on the human condition.' Perhaps we may now leave our reflections on this so sustained musing with some of the poet's earlier credo remarks set out in 'The Rose Garden' (1991): "For all art is about redemption and deliverance - and a retrieval of fragments from the past - with which to reconstruct and re-interpret the present."