John Tranter & Les Murray
I intend concentrating on two books. John Tranter's Crying in Early Infancy: One Hundred Sonnets (1977), and Les A. Murray's sonnet-novel The Boys Who Stole the Funeral (1980). Both books explore the fourteen-line form: and from this unit, both build towards a larger perspective, or 'world'. Here similarities seem to end. The Boys Who Stole the Funeral, as the title-page punningly declares, is 'a novel sequence'. Crying in Early Infancy has no narrative: even the individual sonnets frequently avoid linear development or sequence. It could even be said that Murray celebrates country virtues. Tranter's work is entirely preoccupied with the restless-eyed City. (Both poets, though, actually reside in Sydney.)
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