“And gangu cupping his hands in percussion and quietly singing
Lifting his country: making it good, making it listen.”
Borroloola Class is painterly, resonant, songlike, a beautifully crafted collection of poems expressing deep-felt gratitude to, and respect for, the Borroloola mob, many of the poems here dedicated to the Borroloola people. There is a conversational intimacy that imbues this collection with warmth and energy, commencing with the story of Hall being made a Gudanji friend and then walking through Country with deep reverence. Phillip Hall uses a variety of poetic forms and expressions articulating complex issues of place theory, postcolonialism and ecocriticism. There is exhilaration and vitality in the flow and cadence of the language, a celebration of being on Country, of kinship and friendship. Lyrical imagery is interspersed with bare boned honesty about the damages of corporate greed. Hall’s poetry upholds the abiding presence of the lore and law of Country and its people, expressed so eloquently.