Loving in Truth

By Chris Wallace-Crabbe b. 1934 Chris Wallace-Crabbe
Someone will push the house over one day,
Some spacedozer give it a shove,
But the cobbles we laid down here in the yard,
These are a labour of love.
All winter we set these cobbles in place,
Or was it the summer as well?
Sorting through lumpy bluestone pitchers
For ones that looked suitable.
The old house decayed – along with us –
Will a strange new resident
Admire the patio made in joy
Wondering what we meant?
Things fall apart, the poet wrote,
Certainties crumble and move
But the cobbles oddly plotted together,
These are our labour of love.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe, “Loving in Truth” text from Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw, Carcanet Oxford Poets, 2008: audio from The Domestic Sublime Audio CD, River Road Press, 2009: by permission of River Road Press and the poet. Copyright © 2008, 2009 by Chris Wallace-Crabbe.

Source: The Amorous Cannibal (Oxford University Press, 1985)

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Poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe b. 1934

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Subjects Separation & Divorce, Men & Women, Architecture & Design

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

 Chris  Wallace-Crabbe


Born in Melbourne, Australian poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe is the son of a pianist and a journalist. He earned a BA at Melbourne University and attended Yale University. Wallace-Crabbe’s wry yet expansive poems mix high and low diction to sometimes startling effect. In the Times Literary Supplement, critic Eric Ormsby referred to Wallace-Crabbe as “a genial smuggler of surprises,” noting, “His uncommon affability, even when . . .

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Poems by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Separation & Divorce, Men & Women, Architecture & Design

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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