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Our Poem of the Month, in association with Picador

Each month we bring you, courtesy of leading poetry publisher Picador, a poem by one of the many talented poets on their list, ranging from first-timers to some of the most widely read poets in the English language. (You can read earlier Poems of the Month by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page.)

Picador logoPicador are one of the UK's foremost publishers of poetry, with a list that features, amongst many others, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Sean O'Brien, Jackie Kay, Annie Freud, Paul Farley, Ian Duhig, Robin Robertson and Clive James.

 

Armour by John KinsellaThis month's poem is 'Holus-Bolus' by John Kinsella and is taken from his newly published collection of poetry, Armour.

Kinsella is one of Australia's most celebrated contemporary writers, the author of of over thirty books of poetry, as well as novels, short story collections, plays, critical essays and two volumes of autobiography.

He is editor of the international literary journal Salt and international editor of the Kenyon Review. In 2007 he received the Fellowship of Australian Writers Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry; he is also the recipient of three Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry and the John Bray Award for Poetry. He is a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

Kinsella's principle theme is nature, a subject that he approaches with instinct and spirituality, but his latest collection is more political, engaging with humanity's relationship with nature.

 

Holus-Bolus

 

The whole bolus of the pocket moon
in the quadrant where I tune
paths through high grass, fire risk,
set alight by friction — boot-frisk.


Need no infra-red, no Night Sight,
just as termites thread de-light,
owls consume mice, sacks of bone,
draw the open ground, mowed zone.


That harvest man, that mower man,
odour of cut and petrochemical tan,
to swoop across the map's day-night
spread, shadows unravelling light.


Mistletoe hang-dog meteorite,
burn up with blue butterflies bright
as all get up, or snakes and bluetongues
out and about, so too


flyers too quick to identify. Risible.
Goose-egg nest of oats, stressed oval
mowed over without breaking,
not a crack though black veins aching

             against the china-white.

 

© John Kinsella 2011

 

Previous Poems of the Month

October: Virgil's Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

September: Cassandra by Glyn Maxwell

August: Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins

July: The Hum by Rachael Boast

 

Other available books by John Kinsella

Shades of the Sublime and Beautiful
(Paperback)
John Kinsella
 
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£8.99
 

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£8.99
 

Stores - out of stock

Divine Comedy: Journeys Through a...
(Paperback)
John Kinsella
 
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£14.99
 

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Activist Poetics: Anarchy in the Avon...
(Hardback)
John Kinsella; Niall Lucy; Niall Lucy
 
Delivery:
 
£75.00
 

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Disclosed Poetics: Beyond Landscape...
(Hardback)
Clive Newman; John Kinsella; Gerard...
 
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£55.00
 

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America
(Paperback)
John Kinsella
 
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Salt: Against War
(Paperback)
John Kinsella
 
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£14.99
 

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The Silo - A Pastoral Symphony
(Paperback)
John Kinsella
 
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