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Sol

by Andrew Johnston

Arc International Poets

Part of our Arc International Poets series

Sol

Andrew Johnston is one of New Zealand's leading poets and Sol, his fifth collection, marks a significant development in his work since Arc published his third collection, The Open Window, in 1999.

Playing on the connections between solidarity, solitude, solace and consolation, Sol illuminates with humour and curiosity the ways we link language, loss, history and memory. At the heart of the book are two major poems: 'The Sunflower', an elegy for the poet's father, which is an extended meditation on death, family and religious faith; and 'Les Baillessats', a relaxed, sun-filled poem for the poet's new-born son.

Johnston is that rare thing, a poet who finds more to celebrate in experience than to grieve over. He's not seduced by the tone of easy melancholy of so many contemporary writers, and his awareness of the invigorating delights of the world is refreshing.

Here's a man who loves words, who isn't afraid to play with them, even invent them, in order to say what needs to be said: their sound as well as their meaning, their echoes and resonance's, all their wayward extravagances, are honoured. He's alert to found language, and to the cadences other poets have used: all of it useful to him. He's a man for the essence of the moment, too - and moments, in their specialness, are not easy to capture.

Rosie Bailey, Envoi 152, February 2009

Paperback / hardback
98 pages
ISBN: 978 1904614 74 6 (paperback)
978 1906570 14 9 (hardback)
Published July 2008