Poet in a Train
Vallum Chapbook Series No. 7
Described by the author as “an open formalism,” Poet in a Train follows the speaker’s journey through Australia on a long train ride. Initially grounded in the reality of the trip, Kinsella moves from images of smokers lighting up in the bathrooms of the train to considering the language outside of speech. The “intensely blue-bushed” surroundings cause the speaker to dissect language – “it’s a matter of vowels / and the language outside of speech.” Kinsella perfectly captures the way one’s mind meanders while travelling by train. As the stanzas progress, the “unmapped” topography of the Australian countryside sends the poet on a winding train of thought, where the landscape shapes the course of imagination.
John Kinsella is the author of more than thirty books of poetry and prose. His most recent volumes of poetry include Peripheral Light: Selected and New Poems (W. W. Norton, 2003) and Divine Comedy: Journeys Through A Regional Geography (W.W. Norton, 2008). He has taught at Kenyon College, is an Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, as well as a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia.
This chapbook is not available as a digital edition.