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Luke Whitington / Only Fig & Prosciutto

  • Luke Whitington / Only Fig & Prosciutto
“These poems record a life lived sensuously and to the full in three countries: Italy, Ireland, and Australia. In an era when eros-charged descriptions of foreign feasts make best-selling travel books and TV programs, this book will find a large audience. But Luke Whitington is far more than a sensualist whose mind’s tongue curves inquisitively round gnocchi in the shape of a famous courtesan’s navel. This is a poet who knows history and art, and feels intensely  both youth’s freshness and the nostalgias of age, lamenting lost parents and lovers. His Italy is flavoured by Horace and Brodsky; and his imagery is rich and deep. Hedges shaken by a storm in Ireland are seen ‘running away like green-cloaked rogues’. The moon rises like a ‘Soaring circular Sphinx, slowing in mid-summer night air’. Youth clings to a middle-aged man’s complexion ‘Like an anxious fly’. A high wind sets the leaves ‘streaming this way, that way / Like frightened mice’. Lovers lie embraced, ‘While the whole world looks, and thinks it sees.’ Pigeon-swarms, ‘intoxicated with the element’,  swerve, dissolve, reform ‘as if to a heavenly conductor’s baton’. Cows in a water-meadow munch flowers ‘where Vikings rose in roars from bumping prows of curved ships’. A poet of such luxuriant talent would normally have revealed it over a lifetime in a dozen slim volumes. Whitington instead has saved all his riches and served them up in this one sitting. Enjoy!” - Mark O’Connor
“For years, I have been part of a small group of friends who have received, almost daily, an early morning email from Luke W. As a rule, it would contain only two or three words of text, and an attachment - a poem. Newly minted, fresh out of his imagination, sometimes still to be completed. A prodigious production that meant a prodigious inner push to do poetry. It is something that would at times irritate: how does he dare doing so much and so well? To see now, finally in a book, some of those works, gives a sense of timelessness to those morning emails - they are now part of a coherent whole, of a life justified also by a poetic product of considerable, true quality and appeal. Good on you, early riser, constant, brilliant writer!” - Paolo Totaro AM
978 1 76041 313 2, 228pp




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