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Ryan JS. Epilogue to 'New Collected Poems: 1952 - 2012'. 2012.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/11150
Epilogue to 'New Collected Poems: 1952 - 2012'
It is no dutiful or professional task - but rather a matter of deep satisfaction - to be invited to write again, in 2012, an overview of the creative work, and the poetry in particular, of Edwin Wilson, someone known to me ever more closely, and now over some forty years. And I am the more able to do this for many reasons, not least since: (i) I am also a 'boat person', like his Danish forebear, and an oversees nurtured import to New England who, like that progenitor, has spent most of his subsequent life in Edwin's Northern New South Wales; and (ii) I was the organiser of the 1992 university conference entitled 'Poets on the New England landscape', in which Edwin Wilson's work featured and was variously explored by both poets and other literary folk - this done alongside the then writings of other New England 'coastal' writers, notably Les Murray and Geoffrey Page. Further, I have been reading and editing/publishing I parts of his ongoing reflective prose since the last date. In this process I have watched closely the development of theme, the personal frustrations and the persistent and heroic application to his task of exploring the known and intuited self, these tasks both in searingly honest verse and in prose, and have met and pondered his more than colourful family members and amazing and so unlikely blood connections. These last were the better understood in a cluster of his reflective essays variously published in Australian Folklore as they came more sharply into his consciousness and so to his self-understanding. ... Clearly this prose of explication and of musing proceeded in tandem with his stream of new verse. For, from article titles alone, it will be clear that Edwin Wilson - in a somewhat Georgian way - has pondered, researched, and, finally, understood his personal heritage as all wise poets and other mortals should, and well before their passage hence. Thus he has given us an invaluable record of the ways in which his far-ramified stock had so deeply enriched his perspectives, insights, and verse, as his mind has played over the God-given symbols of one's his own maturing life and so come to an ever deeper understanding of all life on this earth. Indeed, his life and work may be very well represented in the following schema: HERITAGE > MIND + IDENTITY