Book Review: The Lifeguard: Poems 2008-2013, by Ian Wedde

Melanie’s review of The Lifeguard:

This book is available in bookstores now and is a finalist in the Poetry category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards.LIFEGUARD_ART

‘You have to start somewhere / in these morose times …
begins Ian Wedde’s poetry collection The Lifeguard. And he begins with a cycle of poems about said, albeit symbolic, lifeguard, sitting up on the towering chair overlooking New Zealand’s coastlines – past, present and future – while dipping his feet in Greek mythology. You can almost smell the coast in these poems.

The two parts that follow – ‘Help!’ and ‘The look’ – still see the poet observing from a more or less stationary position, exploring the fragrant and the sensual.  Wedde weaves his grandchildren into his poetry, creating a common memory.

Next is a group of elegies on the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who died in 2008. Wedde spent some time travelling in the…

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