Measuring the Depth
125 x 180 mm, 60pp, colour cover, paperback, perfect bound
(OUT OF PRINT)
Cover image by Lyne Marshall.
About the book
'Graham Nunn's concise writing brims with energy. He uses present tense skilfully to give his work immediacy while maintaining control over narrative. Precise observations and concrete imagery lend strength and poignancy to the human concerns he addresses in these haikai.' - Beverley George, Editor, Yellow Moon
'...universal in essence...strongly Australian in flavour' - Janice M. Bostok
The haiku and haibun in Measuring the Depth reflect a vibrant engagement with life. The exhilaration of a deep sea fishing trip, the beauty of a Balinese village, the streets of Brisbane on a Saturday night, the playful moments shared between parent and child, are just some of the experiences deftly portrayed in these pages.
- from a review by Patricia Prime, Stylus
Both in syntax and theme, Nunn's haibun are powerful. With his superb timing, his compressed narrative, as well as the clarity of his haibun, Nunn has deepened his portrayal of Australia to a place of genuine spirituality. Such are the tactics and successes of the best haibun in Measuring the Depth. Here is part iii of "Bali Sunrise":
Another humid morning and I am up with the roosters, shaving the bristles from my tired face. The animal I have only heard has eaten the banana from my fruit bowl and left the black skin for the ants. The sky is hazy, depthless. Standing before the mirror I muse on my time here. I am a solitary Adam, in a foreign paradise.
far from home
a stranger cries
in the stillness
In this volume Nunn's haiku focus on the here and now. They show us how marvelous life is, and not what we have been taught is true or think we believe is true. They are written from experience, not from beliefs or ideas. "Wet Season" is a haiku sequence that revels in the humidity, insect song and warm breezes of Bali:
the wet season begins
The haiku that are interspersed between the haibun form a kind of interlude in which one can absorb the haibun before coming upon the observations and imagery contained in the haiku. In this volume many fine haiku sit together in a well-balanced layout...
...Everything is pared down to the barest essentials, but the haiku and the haibun move intensely through their paces to bring the reader an exact pleasure. Because the longer works are such carefully constructed wholes, it's impossible to quote from them fairly, I can only state my sense that they represent something bold and new in Nunn's work, and that they feel right and very much of his poetics.
Pardalote Press has done a wonderful job in presenting Nunn's poetry as it deserves. Measuring the Depth should establish his place as one of the foremost haibun poets of Australia, and this is a collection the reader will return to with ever deepening pleasure.