Sunday, June 9, 2013

Poetry Monday: Lisa Gorton

Flipping through my overloaded bookshelves to decide what to read next is never an easy task.  I'm not complaining one bit, but there are so many good books that come through my letterbox (a reviewer perk), that I sometimes have to make a cursory judgement using a combination of name (have I read and liked their work before?), cover, publisher reputation, and how hard the publicist has worked to get my attention (the good ones contact me personally and tell me exactly why I'll love a book - we all hope for a publicist like that one day...).  Well-respected poetry publisher Giramondo never tries to get my attention, but they do send me great, innovative poetry books on a regular basis and even if I've been swayed and distracted by a great publicist, I'll always try to flip through what they send especially if I've been reading a lot of prose (as indeed I have) and need a poetry break (I do).  In this case the book I picked up was Lisa Gorton's Hotel Hyperion.  I'll be writing a full, detailed review soon, but as has been my tendency lately, I wanted to give you a quick taste of what I've been absorbed with in that fresh flush of discovery, before I synthesise and summarise it.
Gorton could be talking about her own poetry when she says: "Now the reader is walking out into the garden,
into the long rain breaking itself against the glass,
and what was soft tumult
            proves itself new and utterly precise." (15, "A Description of the Storm Glass and Brief Guide to its Use in Forecasting Weather" "VI")  

Following is Gorton herself reading (beautifully) three of my favourite (so far) poems from the book - the first three in the section that gives the book its title "The Hotel Hyperion".  I think, once you begin to listen, you'll see exactly why I love them. The blend of sci fi, desire, a domestic, female kind of longing, and the crispest imagery make these poems both exquisite and powerful.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Magdalena for this article and the readings by Lisa Gorton. I am a budding poet who lives in France, married with three children. I AM VERY MOVED by Lisa Gorton's poetry that I discovered recently through a seminar on Australian poets led by Mme Goethals at the Toulouse University.
    Would you be so kind as to tell me more about her life as a poet and particularly where she grew up.
    Thank you, Have a pleasant Sunday and Spring. Here in Toulouse we are raking rainbow leaves under an autumn drizzle.