The Universe of Us by Lang Lev is the poet’s fourth collection of poetry. Lang is a recipient of The Qantas Spirit of Youth Award and was later granted a coveted Churchill Fellowship. Her fashion label Akina has achieved critical and commercial success, stocked in key boutiques around Australia and later in cutting edge Harajuku, Japan.
I would have passed this collection by, but her mention in her partner’s, Michael Faudet, book Pretty Dirty Thingsintrigued me. If Leav was the influence to Faudet’s writing, it must be worthwhile to read. Leav manages to treat love without becoming sappy about it. Her poems, for the most part, are very short almost like song lyric clippings. It is easy to see how her work can become best-selling poetry. Not to slight her work, but it does seem to hold that bubblegum pop quality of catching a moment and exploiting it.
Although as a middle aged male, I am probably not the target audience for Leav’s writing. I can appreciate the subject matter and did enjoy the cosmological references. It was the odd poem out that attracted my attention. “A Lesson” seemed to be more about the loss of a person, as in suicide rather than a loss of a love. I can see how this collection appeals to a large and not normally poetry reading audience. Although this collection is not my preferred poetry, anything that encourages people to read more poetry is a very good thing.