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Insomnia Reviews

Insomnia by John Kinsella


John Kinsella

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1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Picador
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 21 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9781529009767

Featuring poems in praise of the natural world, this may be Australian poet John Kinsella's most powerful collection to date.

4 stars out of 5
Kate Kellaway
14 Apr 2019

"The relationship between art and our beleaguered ecosystem fires the Australian poet’s new collection"

Here is someone who would take poetic pride in making a mountain out of a molehill whenever a molehill needed preserving. His observations are keen. There is a marvellous and intriguing poem about the way sheep occupy space in a field, a beguiling close study of bats (“Skim is not/ a truly accurate description of its movement/ which is terse, jerky, but fluid”) and a lovely poem about a charolais cow mourning a calf that has been taken from her: “but now she is calling/ up an echo that rattles bones,/ would add words to dictionaries.” The more you read, the deeper the challenge of reading (one suspects the process of writing to have been the same). The insomnia that gives the collection its title is, one guesses, not fabricated and the poetry has a wakeful vigilance – Kinsella never lets himself off the hook... The love of wildness is everywhere – in a literary sense, too.