Making It Happen. "Sand" by Connie Barber and "A Momentary Stay" by William C. Clarke. [review]
William C. Clarke cuts an interesting figure. An anthropologist who has concentrated on Pacific populations, Clarke combined this discipline with an interest in poetry in his 2000 lecture 'Pacific Voices, Pacific Views: Poets as Commentators on the Contemporary Pacific'. Clarke used his poetry as a vehicle for considering issues such as land tenure, corruption and tourism. It is angry, astute poetry; this is not the tranquil Hawaii and Fiji of tourist literature. Such poetry is undoubtedly moving, despite Clarke's echo of W.H. Auden's assertion that 'poetry makes nothing happen'. "Sand" is Connie Barber’s third collection. Like Clarke, Barber uses the natural world as the subject of her poetry when considering weighty issues, such as ageing and death. The bulk of this volume, however, is taken up with suburban phenomena. Barber's poetry evokes a world where the domestic space is a serene refuge from the ugliness beyond one's door.