Sweeping the Courtyard (2014)

Jack Ross, ed.: Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 [Issue #49] (October 2014)

Books and Magazines in brief:

Sweeping the Courtyard: The Selected Poems of Michael Harlow. ISBN 978-0-473-27420-7. Lyttelton: Cold Hub Press, 2014.

Those of us who already have a little row of Michael Harlow’s books on our shelves: the wonderful Giotto’s Elephant (1991), his two more recent AUP collections, Cassandra’s Daughter (2005) and The Train-Conductor’s Blue Cap (2009) – in my case, even a dogeared Xerox of his very first book Edges, published in Athen in 1974 – will still be very pleased to welcome this substantial volume of Selected Poems, spanning a publishing career of (now) forty years. Harlow has always been an exotic in the plain-jane world of New Zealand poetry: an unashamed intellectual, an urbane world-traveller, a connoisseur of the world’s mythologies. I still remember the shock of disbelief with which I started to read his John Clare elegy, ‘Talking at the boundary,’ and realised that this, too, could be a part of the “local.” For that, if nothing else, I would owe him a debt. As it is, as this books shows, his gifts to us over the years have been manifold.


Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 1 [Issue #49]. ISSN 0114-5770 (2014): 230.

[178 wds]

Poetry NZ Yearbook 1 (2014)

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