The Poetry of Rodney Hall
The interest around Hall’s new novel gives us the occasion to look again at his poetic oeuvre, which was once thought to be among the most outstanding in Australia but which now is seldom discussed or anthologized, and remains out-of-print. The most striking feature of Hall’s poetry is its emotional intensity, often built upon dramatic and soliloquized speech capturing moments of distress, desire, and decision-making. Hall concentrates pain and longing into memorable phrases and lines that are marked by strangeness. The aesthetic value of pain is thus that it fortifies retention, especially when expressed with intensity and with formal control.