Few Australian poets can equal Geoff Page’s depth, variety and longevity. Twenty five collections published over the last fifty years. His influence on the Australian poetry landscape as writer, reviewer and convenor of poetry events continues to be perceptive, pervasive and profound. As he embraces his ninth decade the rich flow of uniquely Pageian observations, insights, meditations and word plays continues unabated.
His new collection Penultima meanders musically from the Bach family to Lester Young, grounded by a lively basso pizzicato. A contemplative, self-knowing five poem sequence, The Misanthrope, counterpoints brief, artful sketches of some personal icons such as Jacob Rosenberg, Bishop John Hall of Norwich and saxophonist Lee Konitz. There are darker tones, as always in his work: American gun culture, the sins of the church. And finally, as always in the Geoff Page universe, love supervenes once again:
since late-life love is love discovered
just in time to get things right
a boundless summer afternoon . . .
before the cosmos flips the light