Poetry collection gets to the point

At the 'The White Clock' book launch at the University Book Shop last night are (from left) poet Owen Marshall, of Timaru, artist Grahame Sydney, of St Bathans, and New Zealand poet laureate Vincent O'Sullivan, of Dunedin. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
At the 'The White Clock' book launch at the University Book Shop last night are (from left) poet Owen Marshall, of Timaru, artist Grahame Sydney, of St Bathans, and New Zealand poet laureate Vincent O'Sullivan, of Dunedin. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A collection of 77 vivid and simple Owen Marshall poems was launched in Dunedin last night.

About 50 people attended the launch of The White Clock at the University Book Shop and listened to Mr Marshall recite his poems The Lebanese Flag and Small Child on a Trampoline.

Mr Marshall said a book launch emphasised the paradoxes of literature.

''It is the most selfish, personal and isolating thing - definitely not a team sport - but on the other hand, to produce a worthwhile and publishable book requires the support and expertise of many other people.''

Mr Marshall thanked artist Grahame Sydney for providing the painting Ida Valley Moon for the book cover and Otago University Press publisher Rachel Scott for agreeing to publish his collection without previewing any poems.

Ms Scott said The White Clock was ''alive with the vivid particulars of damp duffel coats and hot air balloons, beer and bicycles, willows and skylarks, kauri gum and limestone tunnels''.

New Zealand poet laureate Vincent O'Sullivan said Mr Marshall's work was full of wit, tolerance and compassion and made good straight forward sense.

''What I admire is his gift of utter simplicity,'' Mr O'Sullivan said.

- shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

 

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