Mister Hamilton by John Dickson (Auckland University Press, 2016), 84 pp., $24.99; Getting It Right by Alan Roddick (Otago University Press, 2016), 90 pp., $25
In any activity it seems reasonable to assume that decades of absence indicate some kind of ending. Take, for instance, the publication of poetry collections. An 18-year hiatus is a long pause at the end of a line, and 49 years is sometimes the length of whole schools of poetry beginning and ending.
Fortunately, assumptions are dubious conclusions to draw. In 2016, after 49 years, Alan Roddick’s second poetry collection has arrived, and John Dickson’s Mister Hamilton has been published 18 years after his previous collection.
If any assumption can be made about time lapses between collections, perhaps it concerns the impossibility for Dickson and Roddick to stop being poets. Intense scrutiny and internal poetic conversations have continued regardless, and particular people and places have infused their senses. The two of them have always been tied to literature without the need to prove themselves with a rush of books. It has been a matter of waiting for the right time and circumstances for further publication. [Read more…]