'Sense, Shape, Symbol is an investigation of Australian poetry. It explores the ways in which poets succeed, or fail, in their attempts to bring their experience to life.
Their primary raw materials are the five senses - sight, sound, smell, taste and touch - the means by which we all experience our world.
Poets also like to experiment with the shape of their writing, starting with the qualities of vowels and consonants, of syllables, and of rhyme, metre and rhythm.
Working poets make particular use of the metaphor, of the connections that they suggest between normally unlike things, to express their response to their subject.
The collection explores the work of five poets who have played an important, influential part in the development of Australian poetry: Judith Wright, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, David Malouf, Les Murray and Mark O’Connor.
The final chapter looks at some of the common concerns that can create conflict in our lives, such as gender, race, age, and socio-economic status, and other issues that create fear and that encourage hope.
The collection is intended to allow readers to become familiar with the techniques that poets use, and to develop their own poetic writing in an informed way.' (Publisher's blurb)