Biography of Stephen Edgar
Stephen Edgar is a contemporary Australian poet, editor and indexer.
Background and Education
Edgar was born in Sydney in 1951 where he attended Sydney Technical High School. Between 1971 and 1974 he lived in London and worked as a library assistant in the London Borough of Lambeth. On returning to Australia, he moved to Hobart, Tasmania, where he read English and Classics at the University of Tasmania, receiving a BA in 1978 and a Graduate Diploma in Librarianship in 1985.
In 2005 he returned to Sydney. He is married to Australian poet Judith Beveridge
His first published poetry appeared in 1979 in the Tasmanian literary quarterly Island (originally The Tasmanian Review). From 1986 to the present he has been subeditor of Island and was poetry editor between 1989 and 1994.
He is the author of seven books of poetry.
As well as extensive publication of his verse in print media, Stephen Edgar has published poetry in online poetry magazines such as Snorkel, The Poetry Foundation, The Chimaera, and The Flea.
As poet Kevin Hart observed, Edgar “is distinctive for a firm commitment to closed forms and for showing considerable panache in handling them”.
Other critical material on Stephen Edgar includes a close reading by Clive James of Edgar's 'Man on the Moon' in the Poetry Foundation's online magazine.
Stephen Edgar's Works:
Queuing for the Mudd Club (Hobart, Twelvetrees Publishing Company, 1985)
Ancient Music (Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1988)
Corrupted Treasures (Melbourne, William Heinemann Australia, 1995)
Where the Trees Were (Canberra, Indigo/Ginninderra Press, 1999)
Lost in the Foreground (Sydney, Duffy and Snellgrove, 2003; reprinted Warners Bay, Picaro Press, 2008)
Other Summers (Melbourne, Black Pepper publishing, 2006)
Photography for Beginners (Compact Disc, Spit Junction, River Road Press, 2007)
History of the Day (Melbourne, Black Pepper publishing, 2009)
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Stephen Edgar Poems
Man On The Moon
Hardly a feature in the evening sky As yet—near the horizon the cold glow Of rose and mauve which, as you look on high, Deepens to Giotto's dream of indigo.
The Secret Life Of Books
They have their stratagems too, though they can't move. They know their parts. Like invalids long reconciled
How can she do this now that it's all changed, Present her lips to kiss As though that known face were the same as this From which you've been estranged?
Furnished across a table, The long provisions of midafternoon: The cups, according as each tongue is able To stand the heat, more or less full, and strewn
The jungle, from the floor to the canopy, Clogs and entwines Its every rung and level with rank growth. The python dines
Tic in my jaw has slackened. I'm high on feverfew. I'd sleep, but in my dreams I'm black and blue.
A breeze fills up the manna gum’s huge lung, That hologram of bronchioles. It sways there Tethered and shifting like a hot-air balloon Preparing for some fresh and doomed attempt
Above the yawing water's swing and swell, The smack and buffet of unfastened weather, A kestrel hovers, each updraughted feather Hung from the airy ceiling's aquarelle
Incident At Grantley Manor
Seven o'clock, the time set in his mind Like herbs displayed in aspic, as the chimes Were striking. Then the squeaking of his shoes'
Diversions Of A Painter
Near right, the dwarf Nicolasito Prods to arouse with his black shoe's Diminutive and cheeky veto The mastiff which would sooner snooze
How formal and polite, How grave they look, burdened with earnest thoughts, In all these set-up sepia stills, Almost as if embarrassed and contrite
The Sail And The Gannet
A single sail, Translucent apricot, Drifts like a poppy's petal on a frail Breeze that is not—
Surely, here at the heart of things, Here is the ideal place for the attempt, Here where the Christmas sales dispose Their day-late offerings
Oswald Spengler Watches the Sunset
The air is drenched with day, but one by one The flowers close on cue, Obedient to the declining sun.
A breeze fills up the manna gum’s huge lung,
That hologram of bronchioles. It sways there
Tethered and shifting like a hot-air balloon
Preparing for some fresh and doomed attempt
To circle the great globe. Heaped at its base
The litter of shed bark and collapsed boughs,
So much dumped ballast. Across an expanse of lawn—
The cat’s savanna—a drowsing figure slouched
In an easy chair inhabits “Summertime”,