The Goose Bath: Poems
by Janet Frame
'One of the great writers of our time.' San Francisco Chronicle
'Essential reading. This is a volume that alters the landscape of New Zealand poetry.' New Zealand Listener
'I have not been a fan of Janet Frame's novels, but I am engrossed in her new and posthumous collection of poetry ... Frame kept many of these poems unpublished and private during her lifetime, and some of the poems can eerily make the reader feel a trespasser. Yet the poems are numinous and mostly memorable. The book itself is beautifully presented. A pleasure to hold and read.' Dorothy Porter, The Age
Twice shortlisted for the Nobel Prize for Literature, celebrated New Zealand writer Janet Frame (An Angel at My Table) used to keep geese, using the base of an old garden fountain as their bath. In later years the geese went but the bath was brought indoors as a receptacle into which Janet piled her poems and jottings as she reworked and developed them. Over time the goose bath overflowed with paper, including hundreds of unpublished poems. By the time Janet died in 2004 she had named her hoped-for but elusive new selection 'The Goose Bath'.
From this treasure trove was selected over a hundred poems that illustrated the shape of her life: her childhood and the subsequent difficult years in mental hospitals; her travels around the world; her life as a writer, growing older and facing illness and death. The poems reveal her love for words, for cats, for the changing seasons, the arts and for her native country. There are love poems, meditations on mortality, flashes of humour and startling imagery. And always she celebrates the power of the human imagination.
Published in Frame's native New Zealand, this book became a Premier New Zealand Bestseller and went on to win the Poetry Section of the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. It is a beautiful and thought-provoking work, a lasting legacy from one of the Southern Hemisphere's most acclaimed writers. This Wilkins Farago edition is the first Australian editon.