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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Review Short: Susan Fealy’s Flute of Milk
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Award-winning Melbourne poet Susan Fealy’s first full-length collection is an engrossing and richly resonant volume, one that – like all good artworks – reveals greater connective complexity with each subsequent encounter. The work is divided into two parts, with section one’s epigraph drawing the first sixteen poems into a meaning formation that takes off from a Louise Glück work. In the selected Glück couplet, God addresses humans on the making of a life, referring to the ‘bed of earth’ and ‘blanket of blue air’ that are meant to sustain us. Fealy’s first section proceeds to explore this earth / sky schema, in poems that travel through such ‘earth’-associated ideas as materiality, body, and the present, as well as through notions relating to ephemerality, thought / imagination, and the past (‘sky’). The lengthier part two approaches similar territory from a different angle, using an excerpt from Robert Haas’ ‘A Story About the Body’ to foreshadow a heavier emphasis on events relating to the life cycle. Circulating thematically through both sections are questions regarding the relationship between mind and body, or, put another way, between intellect and creativity, an issue that comes to a head in the striking, quite personal concluding poem. ‘Writing with the Left Hand’ makes use of Hélène Cixous’ theory of writing through the body to suggest that perhaps the soma is the more trustworthy aspect of the human, and that it should somehow be liberated (‘cut off’) from cerebral limitations. But prior to this a wealth of figurative detail portrays life as far more fluid than binary, so that, on balance, this final piece offers no resolutory conclusion.' (Introduction)

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    y separately published work icon Cordite Poetry Review No Theme No 6 vol. 80 1 May 2017 11328177 2017 periodical issue

    'It was a great privilege, if a little overwhelming (I had about 1,800 poems to read), to edit this edition of Cordite Poetry Review and, as it is not themed, I had the luxury of choosing poems on various subjects. I have tried to make the issue varied but also unified by my aesthetic principles. I am one of those poets who believe aesthetics are important, that an over-heated experimental or exploratory approach, or a poetics that privileges linguistic flux over emotional stability or response, can take us away from the deep connection that language has with the body. This is one reason why I have an affection for the lyric, and I do not hold to the assumption that the poet does not exist, or that the movement inwards, towards subjectivity, is innately problematic. From the body we get idiosyncrasies of rhythm, music, voice, sensual knowledge, syntactical deportment, emotion and ideas. No-one who writes a poem is ever disembodied, though sometimes it can seem as if they are, given the overabundance of abstraction and linguistic imprecision that occurred in many of the poems I read for this issue.' (Judith Beveridge : Editorial introduction)

Last amended 27 Sep 2017 15:20:19
Review Short: Susan Fealy’s Flute of Milksmall AustLit logo Cordite Poetry Review
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