Les Murray





Les Murray


Born
Australia
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Leslie Allan Murray (born 1938) is the outstanding poet of his generation and one of his country's most influential literary critics. A nationalist and republican, he sees his writing as helping to define, in cultural and spiritual terms, what it means to be Australian.

Leslie Allan Murray was born in 1938 in Nabiac, a village on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, and spent his childhood and youth on his father's dairy farm nearby. The area is sparsely populated, hilly, and forested, and the beauty of this rural landscape forms a backdrop to many of Murray's best poems, such as 'Spring Hail':

"Fresh-minted hills
smoked, and the heavens swirled and blew away.
The paddocks were endless again, and all around
leaves lay beneath their
...more

Average rating: 3.85 · 661 ratings · 93 reviews · 49 distinct works · Similar authors
Fredy Neptune

4.14 avg rating — 87 ratings — published 1998 — 7 editions
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Killing the Black Dog

3.65 avg rating — 105 ratings — published 1997 — 8 editions
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Subhuman Redneck Poems

3.76 avg rating — 55 ratings — published 1997 — 5 editions
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Learning Human: Selected Poems

3.93 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 2000 — 5 editions
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Collected Poems

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 35 ratings — published 1998 — 5 editions
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The Biplane Houses

3.62 avg rating — 40 ratings — published 2006 — 6 editions
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Taller When Prone

3.37 avg rating — 38 ratings — published 2010 — 7 editions
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Poems the Size of Photographs

3.83 avg rating — 23 ratings — published 2002 — 7 editions
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The Vernacular Republic

4.32 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 1978 — 4 editions
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Conscious and Verbal

4.05 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 1999 — 4 editions
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“Why write poetry? For the weird unemployment. / For the painless headaches, that must be tapped to strike / down along your writing arm at the accumulated moment. / For the adjustments after, aligning facets in a verb / before the trance leaves you. For working always beyond / your own intelligence.”
Les Murray, New Selected Poems

“The horror of Time is, people don’t snap out of it.”
Les Murray
tags: time

“When preparing for Book One, I talked to a couple of psychiatrists about psychosomatic phenomena, neuroses and dissociative conditions, for example the so—called hysterical blindness suffered by many who saw the Killing Fields in Pol Pot’s Cambodia: their eyes objectively see, but they are not aware of it and are blind because they believe they can’t see. One specialist told me that among modern Western people, ’metaphorical’ symptoms such as Fredy or those Cambodians evince are much rarer now than earlier in the twentieth century or before. Nowadays most people are better equipped by education to verbalise their neuroses, and have lots of jargon in which to do so. For most of the dissociative dimension, I could draw on things I knew from within myself.”
Les Murray, Fredy Neptune

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