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Sydney Spleen

by Toby Fitch

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Sydney Spleen takes Charles Baudelaire's concept of spleen as melancholy with no apparent cause, characterised by a disgust with everything - and combines it with a contemporary sense of irony so as to articulate the causes of our doom and gloom: corporate rapacity, climate change, disaster capitalism, the plague, neo-colonialism, fake news, fascism, and how to raise kids in a world fast becoming obsolete. The backdrop of this collection of poems is sparkling Sydney and its screens, through which the poet mainlines global angst. Fitch's 'spleen poems', with their radical use of form and tone, are as much an aesthetic experience as a literary one - translation becomes homage becomes satire becomes song; essays become lyrics become rants become dreams. What is a poem when 'no one believes in the future now anyway'? Nor is the collection lacking in humour. Sydney Spleen mocks everything in its crystal glass, yet still finds real moments of connection to celebrate. 'Fitch's poems are not interested in slowly unfolding a metaphor or arriving at a singular meaning. Instead, they ask you to cling on for your life.' -- Sarah Holland-Batt… (more)
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Sydney Spleen takes Charles Baudelaire's concept of spleen as melancholy with no apparent cause, characterised by a disgust with everything - and combines it with a contemporary sense of irony so as to articulate the causes of our doom and gloom: corporate rapacity, climate change, disaster capitalism, the plague, neo-colonialism, fake news, fascism, and how to raise kids in a world fast becoming obsolete. The backdrop of this collection of poems is sparkling Sydney and its screens, through which the poet mainlines global angst. Fitch's 'spleen poems', with their radical use of form and tone, are as much an aesthetic experience as a literary one - translation becomes homage becomes satire becomes song; essays become lyrics become rants become dreams. What is a poem when 'no one believes in the future now anyway'? Nor is the collection lacking in humour. Sydney Spleen mocks everything in its crystal glass, yet still finds real moments of connection to celebrate. 'Fitch's poems are not interested in slowly unfolding a metaphor or arriving at a singular meaning. Instead, they ask you to cling on for your life.' -- Sarah Holland-Batt

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