Nicolette Stasko, under rats
Nicolette Stasko’s sixth volume of poetry again confirms Francis Ponge’s statement that ‘Any [wo]man in [her] own garden can touch all the finished potentials of this world’ (Taking the Side of Things). under rats is a humorous and sometimes surreal look at the natural world: a menagerie full of rats and bats but also mice, hummingbirds, wrens, magpies, wasps, spiders, deer, the skins of squirrel and fox, a negated Cheshire Cat and finally, a magical nautilus that is also a poet. Stasko is well known for her powers of observation, her painterly eye, and it’s the act of observation that’s most striking about these poems: ‘I observe all this only’, except that observation is never only observation—a notion that is tacitly acknowledged and explored here. under rats is classic Stasko with a surprising twist.
Nicolette Stasko has published five collections of poetry including an earlier one in the first series of Vagabond Press’ Rare Objects. Her most recent Glass Cathedrals: New and Selected was with SALT. Nicolette has also published a book of fiction and one of non-fiction—the best-selling Oyster. She is currently working on three books and lives in Sydney.