Review of Abundance in Studio

 In Poems, Reviews


Andrew’s latest book, Abundance: New and Selected Poems, was reviewed by Ian Keast in Studio magazine, No. 153, 2021. The review begins:

It was 1980. I was in Sydney for a Conference, and browsing in one of my favourite bookshops which carried a substantial collection of poetry. “You must read this. He’s one of your believing lot. It’s a fantastic collection.” The bookshop owner handed me, Counterpoise, by Andrew Lansdown, just published. From conversations over several years, I knew he held views that were somewhere ‘to the left of Lenin’, so his opinion of Lansdown’s book was a real and very generous endorsement. “Read the title poem. That last stanza is such a marvellous statement.”

The title poem of his first major volume of poetry, Counterpoise, (and the first selection in Abundance), provides a good introduction to Lansdown’s work. The poem speaks of light on rivers, jellyfish, children, grandparents, prawning. Simple ordinary things that point to the certainties and strengths in life. The poem concludes,

How ignorant I have been
through these last years of learning,
how weighted down on one side of the scale.
The large, deep things are all
in their own ways dark and hard.
Small things are a counterpoise
to lighten and soften the heart.

‘Counterpoise’—balancing two different realities—is central to Lansdown’s poetry, both in its style and content. He has a simple, ordinary observation, which—in counterpoise—often produces deep insight. His language is clear and precise, in Les Murray’s words, “he is an imagist of almost unlimited inventiveness”. Once evoked, the reader’s imagination and thinking, can—in counterpoise—be extended beyond the poem to explore further the associations raised. It is this counterpoise of being accessible and profound, which provides the essence of Lansdown’s poetry. …

To read the rest of Ian Keast’s review, go to the Reviews page on this website.

To read publication details of Abundance and sample poems, go the Poetry pages on this website here.

Abundance can be purchased with PayPal on the Buy Books page on this website.

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