The influences and oppositions discernible in Murray's work - love of the land, the tensions between rural and urban life, the struggle for an independent means of expression - are forces that have also shaped modern Australian culture and perhaps help explain both his widespread appeal and the controversy he sometimes attracts. What's not in dispute is the fecundity of his language: "We are a language species" he says ('Employment for the Castes in Abeyance') and he often writes in a rich torrent of words like a latter-day Elizabethan, delighting in puns, allusion, alliteration and learning. He started professional life as a translator and, in effect, he has continued in this role, pushing language to capture experience that is usually beyond our human radar, like the "queer/tonal hunting zone" of 'Bats' Ultrasound'. When the occasion demands though, Murray can also be movingly simple as in his elegy to his father 'The Last Hellos' which draws on the "rough bush working man's language" they spoke to one another. Murray's often spacious poems are a celebration of creation - his collections subsequent to his conversion to Roman Catholicism have been dedicated simply "to the glory of God" - but they are also catholic with a small "c" embracing high culture and fireside yarn, strict form and free verse with equal facility and enthusiasm.
Murray is a well-known reader of his own work, his dry charm and understated style giving voice to the independent spirit of his poems.
His recording was made for The Poetry Archive on 22 October 2001 at The Audio Workshop, London and was produced by Richard Carrington.