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  • The Water Garden and Other Poems

The Water Garden and Other Poems

Vernon L. Anley

English , 2024/06 Proverse Hong Kong

Tags: Poetry

216 x 140 mm , 50pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-8833-91-7

  • US$12.00

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The poems in THE WATER GARDEN fall into two main categories. Some are a personal response to prophetic utterances in the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible. Others derive from the observation and attention given to “particulate things and experiences”. They give a sense of the poet’s focus on the creative works of others, writers such as Keats and Wordsworth and Chuang Tzu, holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, philosopher Wittgenstein, Christian mystic Jacob Boehme, sociologist Max Weber, and painters Edward Hopper, Georges Seurat, Renoir and of course Monet, whose painting, “The Water Garden at Giverny”, from his Water Lilies series, is significantly referenced in the title of Anley’s collection. We find here also responses to the lyrics of popular, folk and traditional songs and to the art of Australian aborigine people.


Vernon L. Anley’s poetry is remarkable for its delicacy and beautifully crafted verse. It springs from a pure source, working through intuition and feeling and what Plato called “the further side of being”. His poems reveal a sense of the inexhaustible richness of nature and the immense value of just looking steadily at things without prejudice or preconception, patiently waiting for them to yield up their mysteries.
—Saskia McCallum, 
high school teacher, formerly employed by the New South Wales Education Department

Vernon L. Anley’s poems always have a definite and discoverable meaning, Although they often point beyond themselves, they are symbolic only in a sense of being evocative of particulate things and experiences. They can be read and reread with increasing pleasure.

—J.L. Moore, 
filmmaker, specialized in making films about alternative schools and educational change

Vernon L. Anley was educated in Australia and England. After leaving university he worked with the Ministry of Overseas development in the West Indies before resuming an academic career in Europe and the Far East (including at the Hong Kong Government Institute of Language in Education, now incorporated into the Education University of Hong Kong). He has co-authored and edited a number of books, written guides on the Hejaz and Yemen, and published novels, short stories and poetry. His novel, A Carnival of Lies, about the complex developments in Germany between 1939 and 1945, is considered a major work of historical fiction. Among his most recent publications, An Unholy Love takes the reader on a spiritual odyssey that transcends religious speculation in its apprehension of the imperishable power of love.

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