Learning Human Selected Poems

Les Murray

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

240 Pages



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The contemporary Australian poet Les Murray is as admired and respected as any poet working today. Joseph Brodsky once called him "the one by whom the language lives." Harold Bloom has compared him to Walt Whitman, as well as to John Ashbery and A. R. Ammons, adding: "I can think of no [poet] of Murray's own generation who is his equal in range, intensity, and the absolute joy of being." This far-reaching yet accessible book includes the strongest verse from each of Murray's poetry collections so far—The Ilex Tree (1965), The Weatherboard Cathedral (1969), Poems Against Economics (1972), Lunch and Counter Lunch (1974), Ethnic Radio (1977), The People's Otherworld (1983), The Daylight Moon (1987), Dog Fox Field (1992), Translations from the Natural World (1992), and Subhuman Redneck Poems (1996)—along with a dozen new poems. With over 130 poems in all, Learning Human is the best opportunity yet for American readers to encounter the poetry of an eloquent, moving, and truly important writer.


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Les Murray lives in rural Bunyah, New South Wales, where he was born in 1938. His books include Dog Fox Field (1992), Translations from the Natural World (1994), Subhuman Redneck Poems (1997), for which he was awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize, and Fredy Neptune: A Novel in Verse (1999).
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  • Les Murray

  • The widely acclaimed Australian poet Les Murray lives and writes on a farm on the north coast of New South Wales, where he was born in 1938. His books include Dog Fox Field, Translations from the Natural World, Subhuman Redneck Poems, Fredy Neptune: A Novel in Verse, Learning Human: Selected Poems, Conscious and Verbal, and Poems the Size of Photographs. In 1998, Murray was awarded the Gold Medal for Poetry presented by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Les Murray Copyright Peter Solness
    Les Murray