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Beautiful, Unfinished


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Table of Contents

Parable On the Erotic Struggle with True Muteness (How We Speak)

Seven Mysterious Songs

I Belonging

II Loneliness

III Sleep

Half the Shadowed World

Shadow of a Unicorn

The Doorweb

IV Contraposition

Sun & Rain

Sun & Rain 2

V Fortuity

1. One Excuse

2. Two Ways of Arriving at Surrealism

3. Three Times Around the Moon

VI Authorship

VII Conduit

Cantos Minus Melody

Canto of Faces

Canto of Morning & Magdalena

Canto of the Coming of Night

Canto of the Heavy Eagle

Canto of Three Guitars

Canto of Silent Men


Song of Bone

Canto of One of the Teachings of Ick 'Ben 'Barley 'Ham

Canto of Pearls

Canto of the Lemon Orchard

Canto of Being Completed by the World

Canto of Titles for Navigators

A Whale's Eye

Lost at Sea

The Blood, The Day

Le Paradis

Canto of the Namesake

Canto of an Ant

Canto of Unreachable Prayers

Better, Everything (Poems)


Better, Everything

The Ideas of Me


The Point Along the Way

`Dog's No Buddha,'



`Once, the Leaves'

You Can Not Speak

Tiny Voices

The Plate

The White Bats

In Seeing (Zen Sonnet)

I Know What That Thing Is

From a Tin

`Moths Hit the Walls'


My Armpits, Smell of Salt


Classical Banana

The Lookout

The One-Pointed Star

The Companion

The Prayer

What Fights Us

Beautiful, Unfinished


About the Author

MTC Cronin has published fourteen collections of poetry (including several in translation), the latest being The Flower, The Thing, UQP, 2006 and her work has won and been shortlisted for many major literary awards both in Australia and overseas. Cronin has studied arts, law, literature and creative writing and after working for the decade of the nineties in law, began teaching writing in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. She currently lives in Maleny (Queensland, Australia) with her partner and three young daughters and is completing her doctorate - The Catastrophe of Meaning - described as writing on poetry, law, justice and desire. Cronin has three collections of poetry forthcoming (Irrigations (of the Human Heart) - fictional essays on the poetics of living, art & love, USA; Our Life is a Box. / Prayers Without a God, Australia/Thailand; and Notebooks of Signs & 3 Other Small Books, UK).


I can stick to straightforward words of praise, such as brilliance of technical address and originality of utterance, when describing her verse.

-- Peter Porter * The Age *

She is a time and space traveller on a grand scale ...

-- Barry Hill * The Australian *

This 'unfinished' collection by M.T.C. Cronin is better than almost all of the polished, earnest Australian collections I have read in recent years. She is a genius of poetry. Many of her poems intentionally baffle expectations set up in the first lines; others link apparently unrelated images and hint at their conjoined possibilities; still others invite you to search for their meaning in other poems or places outside the text. Even her most fragmentary or cosiest-seeming pieces point skyward to meta-realms.

-- Stephen Lawrence * Journal of Australian Studies *

All great books just tell you the story, all great poetry is a result of an artist capturing the truth, even if there is no story, the truth of our aloneness in the vast unknown. Beautiful, unfinished - parable, song, canto, poem is a masterpiece of music in words. Buy this book. Read it a whole bunch of times. It is a necessary addition to your brain-software in this techno-mystical age.

-- Brentley Frazer * Cordite Magazine *

beautiful unfinished is a book of tremendous riches, and a quite exhilarating power. Ms Cronin is one to follow - no doubt of that.

-- Tony Frazer * Shearsman *

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