AustLit logo
Epigrams single work   poetry   "So this is the castle"
Issue Details: First known date: 1995... 1995 Epigrams
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon New and Selected Poems Robert Gray , Port Melbourne : Heinemann , 1995 Z284053 1995 selected work poetry Port Melbourne : Heinemann , 1995 pg. 296-298
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon New Selected Poems Robert Gray , Potts Point : Duffy and Snellgrove , 1998 Z247102 1998 selected work poetry Potts Point : Duffy and Snellgrove , 1998 pg. 303-305

Works about this Work

Extractive Realism Ross Gibson , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 47 2009;
'Here is a fine haiku by the Japanese poet Seishi, a twentieth-century master:

The signal pistol
Echoes on the hard surface
Of the swimming pool.
(Blyth 346)

And this tiny gem is by the contemporary Australian writer Robert Gray, matching Seishi for precision even though Gray's poem is fashioned from a much looser part of the world:

Torpid farmland afternoons.
A windmill stirs
as a bubble breaks in buttermilk.
(Gray 'Twenty Poems' 91)

Entire systems of reality are sketched quickly but exactly in these works. Shifts of scale spring from quickly conjured settings. Note all the perspectives offered in each poem, how in an instant your sensibility grabs several vantages on the scenes. Conjunctions of heat and smell and sound all shuttle across your cognitive frame, putting you here and there in a flash, giving you sudden and intense access to realities within the settings that are being witnessed. From the intimacy of your own witnessing body, you span out to encompass sharp details of large places-the hard acoustic slap in a swimming pool that's big enough for tournaments; the almost-imperceptible transpiration across flatland paddocks that need more water than raw nature supplies. And then in the next instant, as the meagre syllables slip along, memories pulse suddenly within you to bring you quickly back close to yourself via past time. All this occurs in a rhythm that folds the larger world and you together unstintingly. Appreciating Seishi's and Gray's crystalline miniatures, you know closeness as well as vastness in a retinue of glimmering moments. Emphasising definitive details of lived experience so exactly, both poems are realist.'

Extractive Realism Ross Gibson , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 47 2009;
'Here is a fine haiku by the Japanese poet Seishi, a twentieth-century master:

The signal pistol
Echoes on the hard surface
Of the swimming pool.
(Blyth 346)

And this tiny gem is by the contemporary Australian writer Robert Gray, matching Seishi for precision even though Gray's poem is fashioned from a much looser part of the world:

Torpid farmland afternoons.
A windmill stirs
as a bubble breaks in buttermilk.
(Gray 'Twenty Poems' 91)

Entire systems of reality are sketched quickly but exactly in these works. Shifts of scale spring from quickly conjured settings. Note all the perspectives offered in each poem, how in an instant your sensibility grabs several vantages on the scenes. Conjunctions of heat and smell and sound all shuttle across your cognitive frame, putting you here and there in a flash, giving you sudden and intense access to realities within the settings that are being witnessed. From the intimacy of your own witnessing body, you span out to encompass sharp details of large places-the hard acoustic slap in a swimming pool that's big enough for tournaments; the almost-imperceptible transpiration across flatland paddocks that need more water than raw nature supplies. And then in the next instant, as the meagre syllables slip along, memories pulse suddenly within you to bring you quickly back close to yourself via past time. All this occurs in a rhythm that folds the larger world and you together unstintingly. Appreciating Seishi's and Gray's crystalline miniatures, you know closeness as well as vastness in a retinue of glimmering moments. Emphasising definitive details of lived experience so exactly, both poems are realist.'

Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X