John Forbes and the Lure of the Heroic Journey

This year is the twentieth anniversary of the death of the Australian poet John Forbes. Perhaps, then, it’s opportune to revisit his legacy. This was done, to some extent, in 2002 with the publication of Ken Bolton’s homage to john forbes, which includes an essay by Ivor Indyk titled “The awkward grace of John Forbes”. Intrigued by Indyk’s titular oxymoron, I read it with a bit of head-nodding in places, but ultimately with a sense of discomfort at the way Indyk was steering the essay towards what now appears to me to be an invalid conclusion, namely that awkwardness, as…

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