'I want to suggest in this essay something unremarkable, in the sense that it has already been remarked upon quite a lot: that both American and Australian poetry engages with the East in significant ways...With the rise of postcolonial studies, we have learned a good deal about the intersections of history, culture, power and perception. This has become not so much a field of study as a veritable Outback of study, except it isn't Outback at all: it's front and centre. But perhaps because the point is so obvious to us now we might gain something by looking at it afresh, or at least again.
My interest here, however, is not primarily in postcolonial perspectives or orientalism or subaltern studies or other similar undertakings, which typically analyse structures of dominance and resistance and illuminate ideological implications and mystifications. Indeed, the superabundance of such studies is already in excess of anything I could add. Nor am I considering the wealth of literary works that constitute Asian-American or Asian-Australian literature. My perspective is more limited, and perhaps...unremarkable. I simply want to suggest that the East so-called has also functioned as generative force - whether as provocation or inspiration - for certain poets in Australia and America, beginning in the nineteenth century and especially recently, and that there are some unusual features to this phenomenon worthy of inspection. I am going to note several examples of such poets and then say something about possible conclusions we might draw as we look to the future.' (pp. 107-108)