Inadvertent Things: poems in traditional Japanese forms


Andrew Lansdown


Walleah Press

(North Hobart, Tasmania) 2013

161 pages


ISBN: 9781877010262


RRP $19.95





Back cover blurb

‘as to the eye …

so to the ear’

So Lansdown writes. He’s right: the senses come alive in the gentle words of these poems on the Australian field of his page. If sonnets are standard roses, these haiku and tanka are nasturtiums growing wild. Nature’s minutiae are celebrated here, along with the warmth of loving relationships. Lansdown’s point of view is consistently humble but his moods are many—from a rasping blues to a lyrical whistle.

                                                                         Andrew Burke


Comments on Andrew’s other books

Andrew’s poetry is much influenced by Japanese short forms such as haiku and tanka that aim to capture the particularity, the is-ness, of (usually) a natural object, animal or scene. The goal is to achieve a rendering of this essence in just a few words. Andrew is adept at both forms …     — Shane McCauley


Lansdown can construct poems drawing on various forms from Japanese prosody that often have a gemlike imagistic beauty to them …     — Rod Moran


Andrew Lansdown is an imagist of almost unlimited inventiveness. His observant eye can graze, can focus on the tiniest quiddity and make it perpetual, or it can feast on a subject and draw out an inexhaustible wealth of comparison. …     — Les Murray


Lansdown is one of the most assured of Australian poets working in the Imagist tradition … he has written a considerable number of poems which are perfect examples of their kind. They have a descriptive exactness and a seeming spontaneity, combining to produce a text to which one can imagine no change being made without damage.     — Geoff Page




Four poems from Inadvertent Things



Inadvertent Things (1)



Light on the pond—

one of seven koi facing

a different way.



A drifting feather …

my gaze shifts to the tree for

the bird that lost it.



The climbing rose—

a tendril tugs my shirtsleeve

through the trellis.



The unmown lawn—

zebra finches tug at seeds

in the weed-heads.



Even in a bun

with bits straggling everywhere—

beautiful, her hair.



Inadvertent things—

sound of the guitarist’s fingers

sliding on the strings.

            © Andrew Lansdown




Still Life


Though not as pretty

as the ones van Gogh painted,

the irises sprawled

beside the outhouse at least

prove that real life is still life.

            © Andrew Lansdown




Mali Blues Guitarist


That buzz in the note

because the guitarist touched

the fret or failed to

clamp the string with his finger

quite strongly enough,

that slight brief buzz just adds to

the laidback beauty

of the song, making it complete

and somehow perfectly human.

            © Andrew Lansdown







Disturbing the lines

of her torso and my thought—

the curve of her breast.



Shower recess

beaded with water ricocheted

from her body.



She feeds the baby

then comes to me. Her body—

everybody wants it!

            © Andrew Lansdown

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