I listen to a a lot of music. When I’m walking, working or even when I’m writing, though I’ve got to be a bit careful about music that draws too much of my attention when I’m really trying to focus.

Lately, I’ve found, and have been enjoying, David Crosby’s most recent work, two of three late albums in a career that dates back to his work with The Byrds in the 1960s.The new albums include Lighthouse (2016), Skytrails (2017), Here if You Listen (2018) a new album Free , coming out this month.

It’s a wonderful late blooming with some beautiful songs, and it’s both reassuring and consoling, as someone now contemplating retirement from the workforce, to see not only the continuation of a great voice, but a mature voice with new nuance and meaning too.

It’s nice to think that art can go on and creativity need not be stifled by age and experience. It made me think about the late books of poets over the years too. I think there’s probably a seperate blog post in all that; about poets who wrote as strongly in their last work as their first. The first book that came to mind was Vincent Buckley’s Last Poems, a posthumous collection published in 1991. But there’s lots of others that I might include too.

I got to thinking about Skytrails this week when the cold winter air made the skytrails over the morning sky so prominent. Here’s a few images I grabbed from the back yard.

Collected Poems by Vincent Buckley

I did get to the launch of Vincent Buckley’s Collected Poems (John Leonard Press) at the University of Melbourne this week, a double-launch in fact, with the simultaneous launch of John McLaren’s Journey Without Arrival; The Life and Writing of Vincent Buckley. (Australian Scholarly Publishing) Morag Fraser launched the McLaren book and Chris Wallace-Crabbe read from the collected including the final poem in the collection, ‘Enter the Poem’, which begins:

Enter the poem

as you came into the world,

naked, as you will leave it,

tight-bellied, crying against death,

hearing the clap of a hand.

When I got home I searched out my earlier Vincent Buckley collections, three only, including the 1979 pair The Pattern and Late Winter Child. I include the covers, mainly because there is so little of many Australian poets online including the very basics like book covers and author photos.

Late Winter

Late Winter Child, OUP, 1979

The Pattern, OUP, 1979

The Pattern, OUP, 1979

Vincent Buckley Mini Conference

ASAL (Association for the Study of Ausralian Literature) are organising a mini-conference on the Melbourne poet Vincent Buckley next week coinciding with the launch of two books, Journey Without Arrival; the life and writing of Vincent Buckley (Australian Scholarly Publishing) and a new Collected Poems published by John Leonard Press, a new publisher doing some good things in poetry publishing.

I was fortunate enough to hear Vincent Buckley read at the University of Melbourne many years ago , I think at the launch of Late Winter Child in 1979 and always liked his work. I’m going to try to be there next Wednesday (11/2) for the launch.

And by the way isn’t it scandalous the lack of resources about and for Australian poetry on the web.  The small picture of Buckley above is about the only image I could find online.