One of the responsibilities of the artist is to respond to life and find a way of making comments that challenge and hopefully embrace the reader so they feel as if they share something with the artist. What Do We See That We Don't is a collection of poems exploring a range of ideas and observations from the environment, current social and political issues to the personal responses of the poet to life. As with the subject matter the style is diverse, sometimes rhapsodical, sometimes terse. Choose a poem for your mood and enjoy the rhythm and the language.
This is a very strong and interesting collection. Peta Price writes lyrically of different worlds, Australia and Africa certainly, but as they're recreated in the imagination with respect to time, landscape, human contact and feeling. Her poems are explorations, journeys between places, words and concepts, and, as "An Invitation" suggests so appropriately, "You must go beyond / what you see." There is a fine selfconscious-ness in this poetry.
Price's collection of poems offer delicate music in minor keys. They breathe nostalgia's grief for the past, recoverable only in words, but this grief is punctuated by other evocations, philos-ophical, political and personal. Most successful when least direct, such poems touch with humility on the pressing concerns of not only of refugees and other exiles but of all who look on the suffering earth, its dying generations, and grieve.
Themes of displacement, uncertainty, regret, despoilment, grief and loss are touched upon lightly. There is little here of the bitterness of exile and displacement, while their confusion and disappointment are meticulously rendered.
The scope of Price's collection ranges from the immediately personal (death of a beloved cat) to the political and ecological troubles of the contemporary world. At its most striking, Price plays familiar Western story against as unfamiliar African setting, as in her "Lady Of Shallott in Africa".