With Armour, the great Australian poet John Kinsella has written his most spiritual work to date – and his most politically engaged. The world in which these poems unfold is strangely poised between the material and the immaterial, and everything which enters it – kestrel and fox, moth and almond – does so illuminated by its own vivid presence: the impression is less a poet honouring his subjects than uncannily inhabiting them. Elsewhere we find a poetry of lyric protest, as Kinsella scrutinizes the equivocal place of the human within this natural landscape, both as tenant and self-appointed steward.
Armour is a beautifully various work, one of sharp ecological and social critique – but also one of meticulous invocation and quiet astonishment, whose atmosphere will haunt the reader long after they close the book. Praise for John Kinsella: ‘Kinsella’s poems are a very rare feat: they are narratives of feeling. Vivid sight – of landscapes, of animals, of human forms in distant light – becomes insight.
There is, often, the shock of the new. But somehow awaited, even familiar. Which is the homecoming of a true poet’ George Steiner
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