Thursday 12 March 2015

Book Review - Inadvertent Things

Any new Andrew Lansdown book of poems is always cause for a celebration. It’s a big claim, but in my opinion there is no poet in Australia who handles imagery as deftly. As an example:
'Black caterpillar –
a fur stole around the neck
of a daisy bud.'
I loved this image. Equally I loved the various images in 'Heron Meditations.' We have a grey heron comes sometimes into our yard and I could see it clearly through these images of 'a Buddhist nun,' and later 'a heron warrior monk.' Andrew Lansdown writes a lot about birds, so as well as several poems about herons, you will find kingfishers, wrens, swallows, and zebra finches just to name a few. 'Azure' about a fairy wren and the Madonna is a small jewel. I also loved 'Waterlily Haiku,' and 'Sacred Kingfisher.' 'Blossom' with its comparisons of the wattle and impressionists 'dotting technique' is another small gem as is 'Buds.' I appreciated the humour in 'Jonquils and Daffodils' as well as 'Pygmy Bat' and several other poems and I liked the,
'Liquidambar –
Educating evergreens
About autumn.'
Lansdown also perfectly captures small family moments in poems such as 'Touch,' 'Ferocious Animals' and 'A Good Death.' 'Australian Summer' conveys a very accurately observed picture of the land. There is poignancy that brought tears to my eyes in 'Meditations on Pain,' and 'Ambitions,' but 'After Pain\ also conveys a sense of hope.
Trying to pick a favourite Andrew Lansdown poem is like trying to pick your favourite child – not possible. However a few others I loved were: 'For Grace,' 'Wren Haiku,' 'Time Out', 'Inadvertent Things 1', 'Incoming Heron' and 'Black Bamboo'. But I am sure next time I pick up this book, which will be often, I will find other favourites. There is just something about Andrew Lansdown’s poetry that always speaks to my heart. These poems in traditional Japanese forms are a joy to read and to savour. Loved the cover of this book too.

Over time Dale has written fiction, poetry, children’s fiction, bible studies and Sunday school lessons. More information about Dale can be found at or on her Write and Read with Dale blog


  1. Hi Dale - Thanks for the review of Andrew Lansdown's latest book of poems. It sounds like one to savour and I love the cover, which does have somewhat of a Japanese feel about it.

  2. Yes, it is lovely in all respects Jeanette.

  3. Interesting review, Dale. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  4. Sounds like an exquisite read, Dale. Thank you for providing us a glimpse inside Andrew's latest collection.

  5. You're welcome Narelle and Adele.


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