'His poetry is bright, confident and compelling. ' - Otago Daily Times
A stunning collection of poems from one of New Zealand's most respected writers.
David Eggleton wrote of Marshall’s poetry in the New Zealand Listener that, ‘Above all, the poems are redolent of the South Island – all wild winds and dry hills, sleepy summer afternoons, the shimmer of light on lakes, snow like whitewash on the Alps.’ In addition his poetry captures the voice and perspective of the South Island, whether it is contemplating family or friends, love or mortality, the local landscape or further afield, through place or time.
This collection brings together Marshall’s most powerful poetry from his previous three collections with many more recent works. They are complemented by photographs taken by his friend and fellow Mainlander Grahame Sydney.
‘They are an exquisite marriage of musicality, observation, elegance and economy. Certain words stand out in his lines like the glint of light on wet ground.’ - Paula Green, New Zealand Herald.
“Two mates with a dedication to the landscape of the south have joined forces to produce a volume that pays tribute not just to that landscape but to the people who inhabit it. Grahame Sydney's photos at times echo his paintings, but others show a keen documentary interest. In Owen Marshall's words there's celebration, wry humour and a range of reference that takes the poems beyond their southern inspiration to ripple out into the wider world.”
Paul Little, North & South
“Owen Marshall and Grahame Sydney have come together in poetry and photography for this collection, View From The South, which is a beautiful, hardcover, small coffee table book – in the best sense. Each page is roomy and the poetry and photography often work in tandem to project an overall image . . . the compact lyrics are solid and well crafted, letting you into the interior world. An investment has been made to create a beautiful poetry book, with space and colour, and all these factors pull together to make a book which is both thoughtful and delightful.”
Libby Kirkby-McLeod, The Reader, The Booksellers NZ Blog
“There is no straining for originality in his verse, no exhibitionist sensitivity, just a quiet confidence in the value of well-wrought thought. Perhaps this basic integrity is what makes his south so convincing. . . The book includes a rich selection of photographs by Grahame Sydney, discreetly interspersed, sometimes speaking directly to a neighbouring poem, sometimes obliquely reflecting, sometimes just sharing space in a homeland common to both . . . there is, I think, and always has been, a striking affinity of tone and mood, and sometimes imagery, between these artists . . . The book is a congenial marriage.”
Damian Love, NZ Books
“Such a handsome book . . . Owen's poetry; Grahame's photographs and some of them do complement each other so well . . . there's a great deal of tenderness in this book . . . a lot of quirkiness, a lot of humour in this book . . . he is so perceptive, his poems seem almost inevitable, they seem to come so easily and yet they can absolutely stop you with the almost forensic accuracy of some of his lines.”
David Hill, Radio NZ
“Another great retrospective from a poet whose style is straightforward but whose meaning is deep. Our own Robert Frost. Complemented by Grahame Sydney’s photographs.”
Nicholas Reid, NZ Listener
“This is a collection from a poet with sincere affinity for the South Island. It's arranged in loose thematic categories; the poems range from almost casual observations and ruminations to the deeply, poignantly considered. There are dollop of wit and tenderness and a sense of being in the right place and time, and in the right mood. Alongside the poems are photographs by the poet's friend Grahame Sydney, an artist known for his Central Otago eye . . . Occasionally we are treated to a two-page image to pause at, to contemplate the beauty in this. . .”
“To read Owen Marshall's big verse collection View from the South is to be strongly reminded of the importance, for poets and fiction writers, of territories and landscape. The landscape here is both literal and external, and also what one writer calls the partly internalised "landscape of the imagination" and what W.H. Auden and others have termed a paysage moralise, a landscape with moral qualities. . . . This collection warmly evokes an interweaving of land, of family and of friendships . . . Marshall is a truth-teller, a provider of what Sir Philip Sidney termed "heart-ravishing knowledge" . . .”
John Gibb, Otago Daily Times
“This collection is something to be savoured and dipped into. . . . This collection is a succinct voice of the south. Sydney's sometimes quirky photos of people, places and animals capture the southern life so well this is a joy to have in the bookshelf. Better known as a painter, his photos enhance the spare words of the poems. Very satisfying.”
Linda Thompson, Horowhenua Chronicle
“A handsome and capacious hard back, complete with ribbon bookmark and illustrated with many landscape photographs by artist Grahame Sydney, View from the South is clearly a deluxe piece of book production. But it is much more than this. . . . At the very least, this is a great retrospective. . . . these are poems of healthy maturity. . . . There is powerful resonance to the physical things he presents, which makes him like our version of Robert Frost. An excellent strain of observational satire, too.”
Nicholas Reid, NZ Listener