Review of An Oak Hunch
From Judges' Citation , Griffin Poetry Prize 2006

An Oak Hunch by Phil Hall

Judges’ Citation – Griffin Poetry Prize 2006

“These are poems of ferocity and humility, of vulnerability and wit, poems whose skilled complexities elucidate the lyric disturbance of melody, memory and self. Grasping his intimate line like a kind of loved and fortuitous handtool, what Hall constructs is a voice that attends to the familial and psychic histories submerged in landscape, in all their bitterness and gorgeousness. There is a rough amplitude in his compositional principle: that ‘between the body & language/ a ravine of call and response’. In this work, out of the uncertainty and lag of dailiness comes the knowledge that although precision isn’t always simple, by the precise ear we may arrive at the heart.”




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