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The Lakes of Mars

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  5 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
This stunning collection of poems is a characteristic mix of thoughtful reflection and precise imagery of landscape. Each piece captures an ordinary moment with a visual clarity but always pushes the descriptions further, broadening the intellectual and moral meaning. Finding a true balance, they re-create historical moments with vividness while evoking the gifts and loss ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Auckland University Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-7)
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Jan 25, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I learned about this book from one of our group members (J.S.) and her review is definitely worth reading: I enjoyed the book as much as she did but I enjoyed the earlier poems of the book most and she preferred the later poems about Antarctica. I think that means you can't lose with this book. I expected to favor the Antarctic poems myself but I felt he was wedding himself too much to narration (this happened, then this) and I think his strength is real ...more
At the core of Chris Orsman's third poetry collection are two long sequences, "The Lakes of Mars" and "The Book of the Dead", both set in Antarctica. Chris Orsman's visit to the ice in 1998 as part of New Zealand's excellent Artists to Antarctica scheme has had a profound effect on his work, as his second collection also dealt with Antarctica.[return][return]These are fine, well-constructed, carefully-weighted poems. Chris Orsman has a sombre, thoughtful, reflective poetic voice. That makes for ...more
Octavia Cade
Oct 05, 2015 Octavia Cade rated it really liked it
The bulk of this book is made up of poems resulting from Orsman's stint as an Artist in Antarctica - a New Zealand programme designed to engage artists of various sorts with that most southern of continents. Being very into science myself, it's these poems (and the one on Maurice Wilkins commissioned by the RSNZ) that really appeal to me. I've actually just finished rereading the book, so consider my interest held enough for repetition.

Orsman is particularly good at giving a sense of time. Wheth
J.S. Watts
Jun 21, 2014 J.S. Watts rated it really liked it
A very fine collection with a strong southern hemisphere feel to it, both in terms of New Zealand and the white wastes of the antarctic.

The poems I enjoyed the most were from "The Lakes of Mars " sequence within the book with its frozen landscapes and feelings of loss and otherness. The almost alien landscape is captured in some beautiful imagery:

"The valley
is a begging bowl
brimming with light"

and is haunted by the faint ghosts of lost explorers and, of course, Scott himself, with his links to N
Lana rated it it was ok
Apr 14, 2015
Stef marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2009
Ryan marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2015
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Poetry Readers Ch...: The Lakes of Mars by Chris Orsman 6 12 Jul 05, 2014 02:07AM  

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