Prepare the Cabin for Landing
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Alan Wearne is this country’s most public poet, a master of the Australian idiom, the recorder of its fashions, and the scourge of its big-noters, pretenders and crooks. They are the targets of the central poem in this collection, ‘The Vanity of Australian Wishes’, which draws on Samuel Johnson and Juvenal, ‘who must have known that combination of bemusement, annoyance, anger and despair to which your country can drive you, though always with an eye to its entertainment value and dramatic potential’. There is an affectionate portrait of three high school teachers in suburban Melbourne in the early 1960s, satires on the world of finance, the lifestyles of the beautiful people, and literary intellectuals, as well as seven new poems based on Australian pop songs, with Johnny O’Keefe and Shane Warne in starring roles.