Books

An Art of Suggestion

The Magpie Sermons: Poems 2005–2017 by Ivan Head St Paul’s College, 2017, 48 pages, $25 ___________________________   “Why poetry?” is a question which those of us who are keen to promote the enjoyment of verse are sometimes asked. Surely, whatever the ideas and feelings that the poet wants to express can be more straightforwardly set out in prose? The elusiveness of direct meaning and its verbal elaboration and decoration—which are the usual thematic and technical characteristics of poems—appear wilfully to erect barriers to understanding and appreciation, rather than to facilitate direct communication of thoughts and emotions. Such cavilling overlooks the…

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