Taller When Prone: Poems
 
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Taller When Prone: Poems [Hardcover]

Les Murray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 15, 2011
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
 
Taller When Prone is Les Murray’s first volume of new poems since The Biplane Houses, published five years ago. These poems combine a mastery of form with a matchless ear for the Australian vernacular. Many evoke rural life here and abroad—its rhythms and rituals, the natural world, the landscape and the people who have shaped it. There are traveler’s tales, elegies, meditative fragments, and satirical sketches. Above all, there is Murray’s astonishing versatility, on display here at its exhilarating best.

Fame

We were at dinner in Soho
and the couple at the next table
rose to go. The woman paused to say
to me: I just wanted you to know
I have got all your cook books
and I swear by them!

I managed
to answer her: Ma'am
they've done you nothing but good!
which was perhaps immodest
of whoever I am.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Equipped with a fierce moral vision and a sensuous musicality . . . [Murray] writes subtly about post­colonialism, urban sprawl and poverty and, in his most intimate poems, reminds us of the power of literature to transubstantiate grievance into insight. (His admirers have argued he ought to be considered for a Nobel.) But he is equally capable of writing emotionally simplistic and strangely soured poems in which the enraged adolescent emerges all but unmediated. This mercurial doubleness can make his work hard to categorize or describe: this is a mind at once revolutionary and reactionary. Or maybe just a poet who’s willing to show more id than most.” —Meghan O'Rourke, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Mr. Murray’s verse wears, from the waist up, a cosmopolitan, Philip Larkin-like wit. From the waist down, it dresses in worn dungarees and mud-caked boots. There’s a sense of rural astringency . . . Mr. Murray employs both rhyme and meter, but variably—he’s like a man walking a large, randy, omnivorous dog on a retractable leash. He can cinch his words tightly in an instant; he owns one of poetry’s most sensitive verbal choke collars. ” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

About the Author

Les Murray is the author of twelve books of poetry. His collection Subhuman Redneck Poems received the T. S. Eliot Prize, and in 1998 he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, presented by Queen Elizabeth II. He lives in New South Wales, Australia.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1ST edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374272379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374272371
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Aussie Writes a Nice Set of Poems December 19, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Les Murray's recent collection of poems "Taller When Prone" was recently named one of the NY Times 100 Notable Books of 2011. And it is easy to understand how as Murray, who hasn't published a collection of poems since 2007, weaves a nice set of stories in a veyr tight and compressed way. So many of the stories have animals at their center including the 4-lined "Croc" which hearkens to the scary and ominous looking police car and "High Speed Bird" which eloquently depicts the final moments of a bird having run into a window and lays dying in the palm of a man's hand. A nice collection of poems that are well worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable look into poetry and Australia. February 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A remarkable look into poetry and Australia. It is short. You can read just one poem, so it is good when you are frequently interrupted. You do not lose the thread of the story.
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