The Balcony is a stunning collection by one of Australia’s quiet masters of poetry. (Robert Adamson said of Brooks’ previous collection, Urban Elegies, that it contained some of ‘the best and most uplifting poetry that I have experienced in years’.) On first impression it is a volume of one hundred love poems in the tradition of Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses or Jacques Prévert’s Paroles, but on closer acquaintance becomes so much more.
From the snowy balconies of Central Europe to the white-hot suburbs of Sydney, these poems surface from the depths of a life learning to live to the fullest. Affirming that erotic love is one of the highest forms of contemplation, Brooks raises all that is beautiful in this world - and much that is not - so that it may be transformed into the body of the sacred.