Criticism

What Poetry Is Really About

Andrew Lansdown, Allsorts: Poetry Tricks and Treats (Wombat Books, 2011), 278 pages, $24.95  Andrew Lansdown, many of whose poems have appeared in Quadrant, has here compiled a large collection of his work, mainly shorter poems. It seems primarily intended to introduce children to poetry, but can also be read by adults with pleasure and profit. “Pleasure and profit” is, in fact, an inadequate phrase. For much of the book is more profound than that: although a lot of the work is very simple, at its best it opens windows onto the transcendent. Since he began writing in the early 1970s…

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