By Les Murray

Publish 12 months note: First released in 1998

Les Murray's Collected Poems screens the total diversity of his poetic paintings. This quantity includes all of the poems he desires to defend, except the verse novel Fredy Neptune, from his first ebook The Ilex Tree (1965) to Poems the scale of Photographs (2002). In tracing Murray's inventive improvement, it exhibits an ever-changing energy, grace and humour, in addition to nice versatility and formal mastery.

"He is, easily, the single via whom language lives." - Joseph Brodsky

"There is not any poetry within the English language now so rooted in its sacredness, so broad-leafed in its pleasures and but so intimate and conversational." - Derek Walcott

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Sample text

Little more than a week to go. I wonder what Cambridge will look like (all of it); the same, without a doubt. It used to bewilder me to go back there when we were living on the Cape because no matter how long it had been since the last visit, I could go into Jim’s place, sit down, and finish the sentence that had been left hanging in the air when I’d been forced to leave suddenly two months before. To some that might seem even pleasant, but for me it was unbelievably horrible. It confirmed my suspicion that I never talked to anyone but myself.

In those instances we present only what has survived. Creeley was a skilled and fast two-fingered typist. He also clearly proofread his letters once completed and corrected what few typos there might be. Our commitment has been to respect the original text, though on occasion we have silently corrected clearly unintended mistakes. We are appending a short biographical and bibliographical chronology for the reader’s reference. ’45 Dear Mother and Helen, We soon will land, and after that I suppose everything will become something over which I shall have little or no control.

Creeley 65 Sparks St Am. Field Service Cambridge, Mass. O. M. A. May 15, 1945 Dear Mother, I’ve sent you a package containing the artificial eye which I got in Calcutta. It was cracked a few days ago quite mysteriously. Rather annoying, since I had it in a tin packed in cotton. Anyhow, see if you can get me another of similar measurements. You might have them use one of my old eyes for determining the placement of the pupil. Please try to obtain one and send it to me as quickly as possible, for the mails are very, very slow, and it would take almost four months, were you to send it immediately.

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