Friday, 9 July 2021

From Big to Small

 Having recently bidden farewell to an enormous slab of a book – Eça de Queiroz's The Maias (and it felt like bidding farewell to a group of good friends, so deeply had the characters embedded themselves in my reading mind) – I have reverted to small books, always my preferred size. And you can't get much smaller than Les Murray's Poems the Size of Photographs, which is not only small but square, an attractive shape. The poems are very short and pithy. Here is one which condenses a lot of political wisdom into a few words – 

The Poisons of Right and Left

You are what you have got
and: to love, you have to hate.
Two ideas that have killed and maimed
holocausts and myriads.


  1. It probably sounds ridiculous but barely a day goes by when I don't regret the loss of Les Murray from the world. In case your interested, there is a poignant (for me, at least), interview with him by my brother here:
    There's a longer version somewhere.

  2. It doesn't sound ridiculous to me, Zoe – he was very special indeed, a true original, and at his best one of the greats. That's a lovely interview too...