J.O. Morgan, Assurances
(Cape Poetry, 2018)
Andrew Sant, Baffling Gravity
(Shoestring Press, 2018)
While these two books differ considerably in content and in technique, they share a common denominator. J.O. Morgan and Andrew Sant are consummate communicators with an ability to convey complex subject matter in an accessible and enthralling way.
Andrew Sant is a widely-published, extensively-travelled English-born Australian poet, editor, and essayist. In Baffling Gravity
, he consolidates and enriches the strengths apparent in his previous collection, The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems
– a text of thematic abstraction and acuity. Gravity is the unifying force linking its three subsections. The universal magnet of attraction between all matter takes multiple guises in the book and covers wide-ranging temporal and spatial planes. Section 1 is entitled ‘Gravitational Pull’ and its opening poem ‘The Tilers’ gives an early indication that there is more to be had here than a simple ‘What goes up must come down’ discourse of cause and effect. The tilers, working on a London roof, are nailing down ‘a geometry of slate’, and their precision is itself nailed down in the poem’s geometric lines. The phrase ‘geometry of slate’ has a lexical gravitas undermined by ‘Euclid’s their guy’ as the speaker typically mixes high and low semantic fields. One tiler sings ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, a would-be Elvis rocking under an artistically ‘Constable sky’. Sant’s sure-footedness with rhyme is congruent with the tiler’s defying gravity:
They show, startlingly to those
with a level nose for doom,
hey, that thing is never going to happen.
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