‘Their laughter in the game rose high as any flame consuming every woe, beyond all praise and blame. With or without the sun it rose in joy upon the long ecstatic dance, the circling marathon.’ from ‘The Long Game’
The Long Game and Other Poems brings together the last poems from one of Australia’s greatest poets. Written in the final years of Bruce Beaver’s life, these honest and generous poems look back on a life fraught with illness and turmoil, but one concomitantly enriched by poetry, music, art, and a love affair lasting a lifetime. The poems – mindful of the new millennium – meditate on death and destruction, loss and frailty, while remaining faithful to the promise of life and birth, regeneration and creativity. As he says in ‘October 1999’: ‘Blossoms and bombs. Every / Spring’s mad with love and wars, / babies and murderers.’ This poignant volume commemorates the anniversary of Bruce Beaver’s death on 17 February 2004 at the age of seventy-six.
‘His is the friendly, the unpompous, the democratic voice which poetry has had to adopt this century to even begin to be believed, but it is also the ramshorn, the oracle, the sound of weeping by the waters.’ – PETER PORTER
‘Bruce Beaver deserves to be celebrated as a great Australian poet, a victor against overwhelming odds and a national treasure.’ – MARTIN DUWELL
‘Just as Dante trusted Virgil to take him to Hell – and back – so Beaver’s poetry speaks as the best and dearest of friends as well as the most wise and courageous of immortal guides.’ – DOROTHY PORTER