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The Biplane Houses

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  35 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Les Murray's first new book since Poems the Size of Photographs (2002) finds him at his near-miraculous best. Where that book and the book-length poem Fredy Neptune (1999) were animated by Murray‘s choice of a single mode of approach (the short poem, the modern epic), this one calls on his ability to write in any voice, style, and genre: there are story poems, wordplays, h ...more
Hardcover, First American Edition, 99 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2006)
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Nov 10, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poetry books are books to dip into and savour - to refresh the soul or heighten the sensibilities. "Biplane Houses" is one of the best collections by any poet anywhere!

This is a tiny 'taste' from my favourite poem, "Airscapes" in Les Murray's latest collection, the evocatively titled "Biplane Houses". If this appeals, you need to read the whole yourself:

Here be carbons, screamed up
by the djinn of blue kohl highways
that have the whish of the world
for this scorch of A.D.

'djinn of blue kohl highway
Jul 24, 2007 max rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: those patient with a virtuoso's self-indulgence
Shelves: library
Seems harsh to deal this book a low mark, but for Australia's greatest living poet, my expectations are high, and many of the pieces in this collection lose purpose amidst the author's formidable linguistic gifts. While the haze of prop gas and the sharpness of burnt rubber are occasionally thrilling, Murray spends more time spinning his wheels than flying his biplane.

Still, there are a few pieces that get off the ground and give a soaring articulation of the Australian bush that is eagle-keen o
Lyndon Walker
Sep 06, 2012 Lyndon Walker rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
An intriguing and wonderful little book. Les brings the eye of an autistic savant child full of innocent wonder to this world and grows it up into various characters when he needs to. Their will be many more learned reviews here on his work as he is one of if not the major Australian poet alive and writing (and engaging, respecting, playing with and challenging his readers). His writing is always a lesson in humble insight and intelligence spent sparingly and well on whatever surroundings he fin ...more
Nov 20, 2015 scarlettraces rated it really liked it
I think I might need to read this again.

I understood this one though: Life after death / with all the difficult people / away in a separate felicity.
Shonna Froebel
Nov 19, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This collection of poetry by Australian writer Les Murray has insight, humour, and culture. The title poem refers to a style of house and many of the poems contained here have Australian imagery and culture. The poems themselves vary widely in style and tell stories, evoke history, amuse, and make social commentary. A great collection.
Aug 23, 2008 Craig rated it liked it
While I really enjoyed several of the poems in this collection, I felt that much of the wordplay led neither toward humor or discovery. Many of the pieces felt directionless in general to me, to be honest.

There were some fantastic descriptive sections of various places in Australia that almost made me feel like I was there.

Takim Williams
Aug 13, 2011 Takim Williams rated it liked it
I think this is the first collection of poetry I've ever read, and although I bought it by chance at the dollar store, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Full of clever poems, some funny, some deep.
Nick Benson
Oct 28, 2013 Nick Benson rated it really liked it
excellent - 'Their personhoods had gone, into the body of that promise preached to them.' from Post Mortem a great funeral verse
Sep 11, 2010 Jrmcrae rated it it was amazing
I love the way Les plays with words, turns and tips and tortures them and wrings the blood out!
Drink up!
Jenny Maria
Hörde ett radioprogram om honom. Har börjat läsa honom. Slut på meddelande.
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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 childho
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