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Blue Moon Over Moorea

Blue Moon Over Moorea

Author: Sally Gaunt

Publisher: Austin Macauley

Published: 2022

Sally Gaunt’s second collection of poetry begins with a delicate exploration of masculinity through the symbolism of feathers. These hued feather poems paint valour and eroticism but hint at male violence through allusion to the rape of Leda and the Jim Crow laws.

Many of the poems project a male speaker, but two contrasting female speakers – that of a sex worker who escapes male fetish to a simple life on the coast with a gentle bloke called Reg and Georgiana Molloy’s colonial voice, in fear of and yet reliant on male protection – are further studies of a nuanced representation of men.

The poem ‘Swimming with Seahorses’ juxtaposes dead things washed up on shore or held captive in an aquarium to the sexual entanglement of seahorses and the snorkeller’s voyeuristic adoration of their freedom. Gaunt privileges the ocean as an alluring site of love and (re)birth, and we are swept up in her rhythmic surge.

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