Crying in Early Infancy: 100 Sonnets (2011 ebook)
Author: John Tranter
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Jacket Press
Release Date: April 18, 2011
Crying in Early Infancy: 100 Sonnets is John Tranter’s fifth book of poetry, published by Makar Press in 1977. It is reproduced here in a form as close to the original printing as possible, with the original page numbers in [square brackets].
"Crying in Early Infancy: 100 Sonnets is John Tranter’s fifth book of poetry, published by Makar Press in 1977. It is reproduced here in a form as close to the original printing as possible, with the original page numbers in [square brackets].
"Tranter’s new book has got a monkey on its cover. A grimish brown-faced thing with its baby in its lap… Not really that horrible in itself but, with the book’s title, Crying In Early Infancy (One Hundred Sonnets), and the poet’s name on top, it starts to look a bit dark. Add to this the contents and the whole thing does become apparently loaded with despair. On the back cover is a photograph of Tranter looking exactly like a photograph of the author of this book: the eyes are hidden but the mouth is there, and it too has the look of real despair. Queensland flowers from the head.
Rimbaud’s question comes up: What’s on the other side of despair? My answer for today: John Tranter. For this minute, for now, and the histories involved here. The book’s wry title brings the fifties in, when Doctor Spock meant more than now, but ‘now’ is ‘then’ again as Tranter starts mapping it back. Like some of the words that come up in these poems — pert, real bad, clobbered — and how an image has shifted focus: the monkey on the cover would have looked ‘exotic’ or ‘decorative’ on the cover of National Geographic or Readers Digest Animals of the World. It’s a matter of tone. And it’s a fine matter. Words like pert etc. are the shades or colours, the weather of these poems.
John looks back at his own early infancy and how he has permitted Chronos to darken its memory, and, to get at this, invites an icon through time into his present: Welcome the doll, the terrible doll.: (Robert Adamson, 1978)