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Archive for September, 2009

It is important to realise in this era of political spin that some of the greatest speeches ever given had impact because they expressed the profound truth and raw beauty of poetry. This is especially true of the speech given by Robert Kennedy delivered 4 April 1968 in Indianapolis, IN, following the assassination earlier that day of Martin Luther King (pictured left).

 #mce_temp_url# martin luther king

Race riots broke out in cities across America but not in Indianapolis. Robert Kennedy stood quietly before the distressed audience and spoke about someone close to him (His brother JFK) also being killed by a white man. But it was this poem by the Ancient Greek playwright, Aeschylus (525 – 456 BC)

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that expressed the raw grief and crushing despair of that moment. Maybe, just maybe, finding the words to express such pain disarmed those who could only express their feelings through anger and violence. While this poem sites God it could have evoked Life. It is a universal poem about the human condition written over 2,500 years ago made tragically poignant by the assassination of Robert Kennedy two months later by a white man. 

My favorite poem, my — my favorite poet was Aeschylus.  And he once wrote:Robert_F_Kennedy_crop


Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget


falls drop by drop upon the heart,

until, in our own despair,


against our will,


comes wisdom


through the awful grace of God.

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motherload

 

Motherlode: Australian Women’s Poetry, 1986 – 2008 edited by Jennifer Harrison & Kate Waterhouse will be launched @ Daltons Books 54 Marcus Clarke St Canberra City on Saturday 12th September, 2.30pm.

 

Motherlode can also be ordered from publisher Puncher & Wattmann   #mce_temp_url#

Anthologies by nature must have a great many voices trying at times to out shout one another or combine in a mesmerizing chorus. I haven’t managed to get my hands on Motherlode yet… but here is a poem from Motherlode by Jane Gibian. This poem could be loaded, ambiguous. Is this domestic bliss or captivity, love or resentment? Writers will, of course, read their own lives into the poem. Writing steals time. Writing steals you away from your lover. The writing (not the writer) can be resented and this resentment appears in the writing.

 

 

As I write
 
My mother told me always
keep your own bank account —
I called it my running away
account — I can’t standaussie bush
his footsteps in the house
as I work; I have to walk
out into the fields where
ghosts from the goldmine shafts
hover amongst the weeds —
back then I was stronger;
with my first I went into labour
on the mountain slope,
and finished rounding up
the cattle — but he’s very good,
gets his own breakfast
and all — yet sometimes
I can’t breathe when his
thoughts drift through me
as I write —

 

 

Jane_Gibian 

Sydney poet Jane Gibian’s work offers emotional depth free of pretension or affectation, dry humour, a quick and sharp wit, and an equally sharp and poised eye for detail. You can find more of her poems #mce_temp_url#

PIc Matildashiela Photostream: #mce_temp_url#

 

 

 

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This is an extract of  Geoff Lemon’s poem  Thank-You for Choosing this Product which Poempig found on the current issue of the Arts Council funded on-line mag Cordite. You canfind the full version @ #mce_temp_url#  The glory of this found (mostly) poem is in seeing a lover as arriving with washing and/or other instructions. It makes you want to look for the label on your current model. This could be the cause of all your problems.

‘Drain your lover completely.washing line d.aria

Prevent exposure to sunlight.

 

Check for wear and damage at regular intervals.

Warning: Your lover can cause burns.

Avoid direct, prolonged contact with the skin.’

Geoff Lemon

Geoff LemonGeoff Lemon is a busy kid. He’s been running the Wordplay gigs since the start of 2007, and founded Wordplay Collective with Steve Smart in 2008. He’s currently Poetry Editor of Australia’s prettiest literary mag, harvest; and works as a music journalist for MTVBeat magazine, Citysearch, and Wireless Bollinger. His poems and stories have been published in Best AustralianStoriesBlue Dog, and Going Down Swinging, and broadcast a number of times on ABC radio.

 Geoff Lemon runs the blog poetry blog Wordplay with Steve Smart #mce_temp_url#

pic d.aria photostream: #mce_temp_url#

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w s 2 CorrectionThe launch of WomanSpeak by Louise Nicholas and Jude Aquilina will be held at Wirra Wirra Vineyards, McMurtrie Rd, McLaren Vale, SA, on Sunday 13th September as part of the SA Writers’ Festival (a free event from 11am at the winery).  

WomanSpeak will be launched by Professor Margaret Davy (she’s a leading gyneacologist)  at 4pm, and it’s the final event for the festival.  

 Just to give you a taste of the wicked, sassy and uncanny truth expressed by these two poets here is a poem by Louise Nicholas called  The Gift You give Yourself

The gift you give yourself


At the end of another Christmas Dayfireworks

alone at last, secluded,

may all your Christmases come at once –

may batteries be included.

Louise Nicholas

Louise Nicholas is an Adelaide poet. She has been widely published and she is active in many poetry groups including Friendly Street Poets.  

Woman Speak is published by Wakefield Press. Copies can be purchased through the publisher’s website: 

Pic: Epic Fireworks

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The following is an extract of  Dorothy Porter’s poem, Thin Ice which you can download to view her reading the poem @   Sunday Arts Extras (Poetry Segment 30/09/07. Second Reading) or you can hear her read the full poem on the  Dorothy Porter Website.  Dorothy Porter has such a strong poetic voice you feel as if she is walking around in your head organising your thoughts.This can be frightening.  Nevertheless in a few lines she can capture like a fossil insect in resin convoluted emotions we often find difficult to express. The following extract about our mortality is made even more poignant by her recent death.

…we all have so much to bear 
the slip 
the slide 
the sense of the dark 
frigid nothing 
under our warm blooded mortal feet ice skating 2
but when the ice takes our young 
we know we’ll never have happiness 
or find our deluded footing 
again

Dorothy Porter

1954 – 2008

Dorothy Porter Tribute site  Dorothy Porter was a celebrated Australian Poet who, among other achievements, authored six collections of poetry, two novels for young adults and three previous TheBeeHut_0verse novels, AkhenatenThe Monkey’s Mask and What a Piece of Work. Her verse novel Wild Surmise published in 2002 was awarded the Adelaide Festival Award’s 2004 John Bray Memorial Prize for Poetry as well as the overall Premier’s Award, the first book of poetry ever awarded the prize.  The Monkey’s Mask won the Age Poetry Book of the Year Award and the National Book Council’s Poetry Award, was reprinted eight times and made into a film in 2000 starring Susie Porter and Kelly McGillis. Her posthumous book of poetry, The Bee Hut, was recently published by Black Inc and can be purchased for $24.95 through the publisher’s website: #mce_temp_url#

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The Infinite Monkey Theorem states that a monkey hitting typewriter keys at random for infinity would eventually type out  the complete works of Shakespeare. Poempig has always argued that a monkey sitting at a computer hitting the keys at random would type out a sports article in two minutes. Unfortunately, randomness and computers give poetry a very bad name. Here is an example of computer generated poetry from from endlesspoetry.com   How thrilled would your Grandma be to get this poem???????? You’ll find more atrocities @ #mce_temp_url#

Grandma Poem

see, from this counterfeit of him


candles toppling sideways in tomato cans


long has the summer sunlight shone
monkey type writer

there were three in the meadow by the brook


high-born race


a flying word from here and there
as it


for these white arms about my neck


are you awake?


once this soft turf


there is no escape by the river

by Computer as Poet

Pic: Wikipedia:#mce_temp_url#

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