Salt Scars: John Kinsella’s Wheatbelt


Discusses John Kinsella's long-term poetic engagement with the fraught landscape of the West Australian Wheatbelt. 'Kinsella is an awkward, manic wheatbelt laureate, filled with passionate hatred for the agents of its destruction, railing at the very windmills that now drag the salinated water to its surface. It is possible to argue that his vehemence has marred his poetry, but that would be to accept that in every moment of our world it is reasonable to speak reasonably. The truth is that the long-term effects of Kinsella's poetry are yet to be seen. They have been unleashed like a new technology on a world accustomed to reckoning without them. His poems hatch and crawl across the wrecked wheatbelt landscapes they describe, following a logic that awaits coherence, the way a dream's meaning rests patiently until its fellow symptoms procure their analysis.'

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Published 1 June 2012 in Volume 27 No. 2. Subjects: Australian landscape, Australian landscape - Literary portrayal, Australian poetry, John Kinsella.

Cite as: Hughes-d'Aeth, Tony. ‘Salt Scars: John Kinsella’s Wheatbelt.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 27, no. 2, 2012, doi: 10.20314/als.b7d06c88fd.