writing WA reviews Andrew Lansdown's collection of poems in Japanese forms.
Walleah Press, $20
Andrew Lansdown's Inadvertent Things gathers together his poems in Japanese forms, particularly haiku and tanka. In an alphabetic rather than an ideogrammatic language, with non-Asian philosophical traditions, these short poetic forms could have easily been trite or pretentious. Lansdown, though, uses them skilfully, aided by his clear diction and direct approach. The purity of creatures in their environment is set against the self- consciousness of humans: a Sacred Kingfisher "without knowledge of self . . ./ enacts itself precisely". However, the idealisation of nature is always beset by its lack of awareness; humans, not kingfishers, write haiku.