‘The Orange Tree’ and the Limitations of Poetry


Hanna stresses the importance of the “child-vision” in Neilson’s poetry and its connection to Neilson’s idea of Love. Hanna argues that the two children in “The Orange Tree” represent the limitless unknowable area of Neilson’s imagination which is ultimately linked to the divine entity the poet spent his life trying to find and understand. Neilson’s poet-figure is able to understand but, despite this “totality of experience”, he finds this understanding impossible to express.

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Published 1 May 1978 in Volume 8 No. 3. Subjects: Literary career, Poetic inspiration, Poetry writing, Writer's world, John Shaw Neilson.

Cite as: Hanna, Cliff. ‘‘The Orange Tree’ and the Limitations of Poetry.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 8, no. 3, 1978, doi: 10.20314/als.82365e2b31.