Beauties of the Octagonal Pool by Gregory O’Brien review

By Tim Upperton In Books

Print Share
12th May, 2012
“And I was marooned/half way through a poem called/‘Beauties of the octagonal pool’,” writes Gregory O’Brien, in a tender poem to his wife, poet Jenny Bornholdt. Perhaps he stayed marooned, as no poem with that title appears in this, his first poetry collection in seven years. The title is on the cover, though, and it alludes, O’Brien explains in an afternote, to the Waitemata Harbour, which is “definitely not rectangular, but neither is it round; octagonal feels about right”. The book itself is divided into eight sections, one of them also bearing that title, and each section ...

Get full access to

Subscribers can read the full version of this story.

You can subscribe and get full online access for as little as $5 per week.

Enjoy the high-quality, in-depth journalism of the Listener magazine with convenient online access. This includes access to thousands of archived articles and up-to-date TV and entertainment listings.

Our great content is available online even before it hits the shelves, and includes more focus on breaking news. With our responsive design you get a great reader experience whether you read from your home computer, tablet, or even smartphone.

Already a subscriber? Just to read full version of this story.

Already an existing print subscriber? As part of your magazine subscription you are entitled to receive full access to the New Zealand Listener Online content. Click here for instructions on how to redeem your digital access.

Or you can subscribe now to get unlimited access to

More by Tim Upperton

Switch to our mobile site