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Nicholson, Peter , (1950-

Peter Nicholson was born in Waverley, New South Wales, and was educated at Armidale Teachers' College and Macquarie University. He lives and works in Sydney, a city whose temperament is reflected in much of his poetry. Apart from literature, his interests include opera, especially Wagner, art and cinema. Peter's first book, A Temporary Grace, was published in 1991. It contains his first two collections of poetry, At The Water's Edge and Views To A Bridge, as well as the poetic narrative Fast Forward. His second book, Such Sweet Thunder, published in 1994, comprises Shadow Of A Doubt, Prometheus and S.S. Snakebite. The latest work, A Dwelling Place, published in 1997, comprises Speech To A Mountain and New Affection, New Noise. See poems from 'A Dwelling Place' below: ICI REPOSE VINCENT van GOGH, Laurel and New Affection, New Noise.

Peter Nicholson is the author of:

      Peter Nicholson is the author of:

        1. A Temporary Grace (1991)
        2. Such Sweet Thunder (1994)
        3. A Dwelling Place (1997)

      Link to Peter Nicholson Editorial
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      OzLit Pages Relating to this Writer
      Editorial: An introduction to the poetry of Peter Nicholson (5/10/97)
      Other Relevant Websites
      Peter Nicholson's homepage
      OzLit News Archives

      VINCENT van GOGH

      c Peter Nicholson (1997)

      Not here the slippage
      Of motive, the bull market,
      Dressage of cocktail and auction;
      Neither the victory lap nor prize.
      And yet, pushed out, vertiginous paint,
      Cypress and flower spinning,
      Nature's cusp stubbed on canvas,
      A bandaged head staring with love,
      And that alone, at each malignant defeat.

      Ours is a tepid dreaming
      With not even the courage of beauty.
      We wish our Age of Noise
      To be an almanac footnoted,
      Its mug celebrities
      Caught in silverfish pages,
      But still we won't avoid
      An empty room dimming our glamour.

      Theories puffed, the boast
      Of a thousand critical niceties,
      Are shed in the fierce night,
      One name cast
      Near sulphurous soil,
      Whose paintings keep,
      For we who believe
      Not in greatness, nor the strength of art,
      In the space reserved for grace,
      The sharktooth eye
      Of a winnowing field
      And yellow starlight shining.


      c Peter Nicholson (1997)

      Our dust sings
      Substantially, towering
      Round this pedestal
      Of bone, glinting
      At the precipice
      Whose heart has plucked the mould
      Of nervous perishings
      For further sequences,
      Seconds brushed like hairs.

      Let scything spaces
      Slice away our certainties
      And pull to sadness
      The blood's glitter.
      We will ascend
      That brutal step
      And offer up our heads
      For a touch of laurel
      And the glories of a star.

      New Affection, New Noise

      c Peter Nicholson (1997)

      Departure, and empires end -
      Hustler cruising trade
      On Sunset Boulevard
      Or Oxbridge don relaxed
      Who loves the floating hymns;
      Both have humoured sutras,
      Generations hooked
      To transatlantic charm
      As Arc de Triomphe's arch
      Failed Moruroa's reef
      Not coloured up at Giverny.

      Whether they're believed or not,
      Some mud sticks - cliches learnt
      Are catalogued then praised.
      But certainty diminishes,
      Shed skins litter MoMA's floor;
      Where I write, compose or paint
      Is a still point of the turning world,

      And all the dusty rhetoric
      Of bowler hat or ticker tape
      That wants things kept the way they are
      Will fail if that is true.

      New affection, new noise.
      Le Monde or New York Times may praise
      The margins on their better days;
      Some see the whole circumference
      And not just bits whose mapping edits
      Hemisphere's false circumstance.
      Sides of rusted sheds are loved
      As much as sleek Manhattan
      And speech that's barbed with nasal vowels
      Knows its motive human.
      We no longer justify
      What we are by perishings
      In a pouring island
      Or need the well-clipped Luxembourg
      To prove our roses foreign.

      A flock of parrots fills the sky,
      Shimmering in haze,
      And near a parched, eroded hill
      Stumps of wood prop up the gate -
      Here is hope for future greening,
      Crops renewed and gate rehung,
      Self-sufficient images
      Spinning in the air.

      Put beside those older books
      Newer ones that glisten;
      On their shining paddocks
      See the centre broaden.

These hits from our Links Database might be of interest:
  1. An introduction to the poetry of Peter Nicholson OzLit on-line Reading/Writing editorial by Peter Nicholson...
  2. Australian Society of Authors AWARD data base Peter Nicholson Biographical and professional information about poet Peter Nicholson...
  3. Books Published September 1998 (listed at Ozlit) ALBISTON, JORDIE — The Hanging of Jean Lee (Black Pepper) BAKER, CANDIDA (ed.) — The Penguin Book of The Horse (Penguin) BECKETT, BETH — ...
  4. Home Grown Book Distribution Peter Nicholson's books are available at the web site mentioned-A Temporary Grace,Such Sweet Thunder,A Dwelling Place....
  5. OzLit News archive - August 31, 1995 – Ms Hilary McPhee, head of the Australia Council, said yesterday that the member of Australia’s arts community were “Venomous and mean-spir...
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