On Les Murray and being a public poet vs. religious poet

by Anna Blanch on November 3, 2010

 The first time Les Murray’s poem, “Church,” was published, in 2005, it was accompanied by an interview with the poet. Valentina Polukhina asked: “You are regarded as an eccentric Australian voice, a rural poet speaking for an urban culture, a Roman Catholic speaking for a largely secular people. Are you comfortable with such perceptions?”. In his down-to-earth style, Murray responded:

I don’t speak for anyone. I speak to the poetry public. They can be Catholic, they can be Jewish, they can be whatever they like. I just speak as I am. I am a Catholic and I don’t believe that other people are necessarily secular. I think that intellectuals are mostly secular or are required to pretend that they are. But broader people are very varied; a lot of them are religious, lots of the Catholic. I speak to those who want to read me.

To read more of my post about Murray, take a look at the rest of it over at Transpositions.

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