Publication Date: 20-Sep-03 | ISBN: 1876857714 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 180pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
Trio is a 162-page omnibus collection of three books of poetry by leading Australian poet John Tranter published over a period of wide-ranging stylistic experiment in the 1970s.
Red Movie, John Tranter’s second book, published in 1972, reveals a break or shift in his approach to poetry. The first half of the book is made up of a series of moody imagistic landscapes and fragmentary portraits of people reminiscent at times of Robert Lowell, and a memoir of country and urban adolescence. The rhetoric is mainly romantic. The ten-page poem ‘Red Movie’ which concludes the book moves out into new territory. Its style, though lyrical, is mosaic, seeking its effects in the juxtaposition of bright and contradictory fragments. History, literature and personal experience are broken and reassembled into a patterned montage of words, an approach perhaps influenced by the authors’ course-work in linguistics, Gestalt theory and field theory for his academic degree in psychology.
Crying in Early Infancy (1977) is a collection of one hundred fourteen-line poems. Five are carefully rhymed sonnets, some are solemn, but most are loose and playful and some are exuberantly incoherent. Existentialism, Marxist theory, foreign movies, Hollywood, soft drugs, homosexuality, teenage angst, cool jazz: it all goes into the blender of Tranter’s art, and nothing is safe. It was the seventies, after all.
Dazed in the Ladies Lounge (1979).
Among a handful of alternately serious and light-hearted poems three longer works stand out: a study of the influence of Rimbaud, alternately grateful and scolding; a series of imaginary tableaux where five leading European intellectuals are forcibly replanted in an Australian context (Sartre at Surfers Paradise, for example); and Ode to Col Joye, a playful look at the author’s fellow-poets and his own cultural setting.
VIEW EXCERPT AS PDF
Click here to view a sample (80 KB)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Red Movie; The Orange Spot; Hospital; Balance; Bestiary; Ward Five; The Road Back; On the Track of the Attainable; Memoirs of a Forty-Year-Old Revolutionary; Lesson; Julie; At The Piccolo; Country Girl; Sketch for a Portrait of a Young Woman; Conversations; The Raft; Red Movie; Crying in Early Infancy: 100 Sonnets; 1. The Tidal Wave; 2. Non-Euclidean Geometry; 3. Your Lucky Double; 4. Jet Set ; 5. Ecstasy; 6. Model Behaviour; 7. F.O.; 8. Chloroform; 9. The Lilies of the Field; 10. Kandehar-Kabul, 1967; 11. Fighting the Secret Service; 12. The Famous Chinese Poet; 13. At the Laundromat; 14. (beginning with a line by David Malouf); 15. Korsakoff’s Syndrome; 16. Sex Chemistry; 17. Surfers Paradise; 18. Pickup Truck; 19. The Diamond Sutra; 20. Double Images; 21. The Function of Dreams; 22. Triage; 23. The Pleasures; 24. Jack’s Tracks; 25. (after A. de St. Exupery’s Vol de Nuit); 26. Landscape With Automobile; 27. Miss Lonelyhearts; 28. Barnstorm; 29. Ten Statesmen; 30. Starlight; 31. (after American Graffiti); 32. The Drunk Thug; 33. The Training Manual; 34. Art ; 35. Artefact; 36. Timing; 37. Sediment; 38. The Moated Grange; 39. Film Noir; 40. The Age of Mechanical Reproduction; 41. The Bus; 42. Toxophilus; 43. The Hollywood Version; 44. The Lessons; 45. Patagonia; 46. Two Figures; 47. NW1; 48. Fashion Shoot; 49. Phase Shift; 50. (from a BBC synopsis); 51. Trick Ending; 52. The Museum; 53. Duty; 54. I Know a Man Who Lives in the Dark; 55. A Hard Art; 56. Jungle View; 57. The Doll; 58. Oenology ; 59. Absinthe; 60. Telescopic Sight; 61. The Spy; 62. The Exile; 63. Ballistics; 64. Position: Poet; 65. Weather Report; 66. The Wine of the Region; 67. (after a phrase by Laurie Duggan); 68. The Painting of the Whole Sky; 69. The Student Prince; 70. The Decline of Narrative Painting; 71. The Chicago Manual of Style; 72. The Beaches of the Caribbean; 73. Winter Cruises; 74. The Soto Zen School (for Duncan Ellis) ; 75. Debt; 76. Half Moon; 77. Hunting Moon; 78. Pedagogy; 79. In the Casino; 80. Lusaka; 81. Going on Your Nerve; 82. Night of the Colonels; 83. Choice; 84. The Rhetoric of Fiction; 85. The Knock on the Door; 86. Writing for Television; 87. Scuba, the Acronym; 88. Thermal Drift; 89. The Blues; 90. 1968; 91. The Chev; 92. Egyptian Reggae; 93. Tropics; 4. On the Right Bank; 95. A Drink by the Pool; 96. Hobo, Computer; 97. Note Found in a Bottle; 98. Fever; 99. Dictation; 100. The Blue Mirror; Dazed in the Ladies Lounge; Rimbaud and the Modernist Heresy; The False Atlas ; The Wine Bar Women; American Women; The Un-American Women; Nineteen Fifty-eight Women; The Revolutionaries; Butterfly; Leavis at The London Hotel; Sartre at Surfers Paradise; Foucault at The Forest Lodge Hotel; Roland Barthes at the Poets’ Ball; Enzensberger at Exiles Bookshop; Apolitical Poem; Telephone; Radio Traffic 1: Lipstick; Radio Traffic 2: Flak Static; Radio Traffic 3: Foxtrot; Radio Traffic 4: Tricycle; The Wind; The Germ; Moonshine; Lipographia Literaria; The Great Artist Reconsiders the Homeric Simile; Ode to Col Joye
John Tranter is a leading Australian poet. He has been employed mainly in publishing, teaching and radio production, and has travelled widely, making reading tours to more than forty venues in the USA, England and Europe. He has lived in London and Singapore, and now lives in Sydney.