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Archive for the ‘Awesome Aussie Poets’ Category

I’ve just read Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer, which suggests that creativity can be stimulated, rather than handicapped, by highly structured formats.

‘ … look at poets, who often rely on literary forms with strict requirements, such as haikus and sonnets. At first glance, this writing method makes little sense, since the creative act then becomes much more difficult. Instead of composing freely, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints.

But that is precisely the point. Unless poets are stumped by the form, unless they are forced to look beyond the obvious associations, they’ll never invent an original line. They’ll be stuck with clichés and conventions, with predictable adjectives and boring verbs. And this is why poetic forms are so important. When a poet needs to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables or an adjective that fits an iambic scheme, he ends up uncovering all sorts of unexpected connections; the difficulty of the task accelerates the insight process. ‘

The following two posts embrace the constraints of the 5-7-5 syllable Hiaku and then 14 line, 10 syllable, iambic pentameter – Google it-  sonnet.

The following Hiakus are by Canberra poet, Ralph Sedgley.

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On Julbup water

                  Two ducks on Julbup

                           leave converging trails, sparkling

                   in the winter light.

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 The heron

Through outgoing tide

a heron stares intently;

alder leaves drift by.

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Pelican lovers

                        Two pelicans

                                      slowly spiraling upwards,

                                     soaring above the city heat.

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Here is a sonnet, Corteo D’Amore,  by award winning Canberra poet, Suzanne Edgar, that appeared in Panorama, Saturday, 10 Mar 2012, The Canberra Times.

The poem was written to accompany the picture in the National Gallery.

This sonnet is married to the picture.

It could not exist without it, yet the picture comes to life because of it.

………………………………………………..

Suzanne Edgar’s book The Painted Lady is available @
the bookshop of the National Library of Aust and the
Paperchain Bookstore 34 Franklin St Manuka ACT.

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When a poet writes an essay they cannot help themselves. Trapped within the essay are literary jewels, poems of exquisite beauty crafted and polished by the poet’s word-smithing skills. Michael Leunig is a poet so it is not surprising that his essay ‘Sleeping in on Doomsday’ from the Good Weekend, The Age (Sat 28th Nov 2009) had a poetic sensuality. This embedded poem in the essay addresses the hopes Leunig has for his children, that they will not be tethered to the family tree but rather free to fly. free as they wish. Moreover, it is within all our capabilities to escape the gravitational pull of our origins.

…no shares in any great cultural franchise

with stories of tragedy and triumph,

and don’t have much in the way of extended family.

None of this to enshrine and uphold.

They are unadorned earthlings.

Human nature is their story.

The spirit of the country runs out of the earth

And the air and into their bodies like a mystery.

This is their inheritance.

It is no virtue, no deficiency and no advantage;

This is simply their lot.

 

I see them asleep at night, these beautiful earthlings;

their faces still so glowing and  open and young.

There are many of them in this world and in this land.

When they awaken they will create their own way.

Michael Leunig  

 

 Michael Leunig is a Melbourne cartoonist, artist and poet. His short and often melancholic poems are published in a number of Australian newspapers. His  enchanting poems have been published in books available through his website.

Earthlings pic karstenkneese’s photostream

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This poem reflects the intensity and clarity poetic writing can bring to understanding our shared humanity. But context counts. This poem was added as a comment by Tim Shanasy to the Embedded Poem, Dead Love, by Will Storr posted in this blog. The poem howls with rage about the difficulty of living with tinnitus. When you know this context, you don’t just read the words, you also hear the scream of the white noise.

Like an endless steam train with horns ablaze,

about to emerge from it’s tunnel,

into a forest of crazy cicadas.


This, endlessly, a photo of noisy sounds,

steadfastly displayed in the gallery walls of my mind.

In sleep and in surf.

The only relief . .


Subconscious or immersed,

the only respite.


To awake, is to take control of the emotions.


To sink, or to swim. I swim.

The trick is to normalise.

How bad is this really?


Only to ponder truth briefly, is all it takes.


The plight of so many others, must be so much worse.

The human condition lives on, in us all.

Tim Shanasy

Tim Shanasy is a Byron Bay musician and, obviously, poet.

Pic from Travis Hornung’s Photostream

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This poem by Zoe Deleuil captures a rare moment of intimacy in a relationship made distant by the generations and then made intense again by a simple act. The power of the poem also lies in its simplicity. 

Sometimes, not enough,

I’d really look at you

and say: Let me clean your glasses.

You’d take them off.

Blink. Hand them over.

Pull out a folded handkerchief

from your trouser pocketglasses

and give that up, too.

 

It’s always the edges that get blurry.

I’d work on those the longest, teasing out

flecks of leaf and breakfast smudges and wattle pollen

until the glass was clear. Like making them new

again. You’d put them on – just as slowly

as you took them off – look around

at your familiar world and say:

There’s no doubt about you.

by Zoe Deleuil

zoe-deleuil-2 Zoe Deleuil grew up in Perth, Australia, studied Communications at Murdoch University, and now works in London as a sub editor and features writer. #mce_temp_url#

Her first novel is, She Left, You Came, a teenage love story set in Western Australia. This poem first appeared on the Cordite Website: #mce_temp_url#

B & W pic: Accent on Eclectic’s Photostream: #mce_temp_url#

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This poem of Melinda Smith’s sets the two-faced coin of motherhood spinning. How it lands today or any day you do not know. Will you see the face of love or the flip-side, loss?  To give birth is to experience a joyous connection with the miracle of life. Yet to give birth is also to face an ocean of uncertainty. While motherhood is often presented as a flowery, sickly sweet confection the images and rhythm of this poem pounds home the uncertainty.

 

Wave after wave, the ocean counts the cost
by piling sheets of water on the sand.
I dreamt before your birth that you were lost.
I think I have begun to understand.

By piling sheets of water on the sand
the sea offers its body, slice by slice.
I think I have begun to understand.
I love you knowing sorrow is the price.

The sea offers its body, slice by slice,
heaving itself onto an empty beach.
I love you knowing sorrow is the price.
beach
I start a task whose end I’ll never reach.

Heaving itself onto an empty beach,
the sea still finds the energy to give.
I start a task whose end I’ll never reach.
I give you life, not knowing how you’ll live.

The sea still finds the energy to give.
I dreamt before your birth that you were lost.
I give you life, not knowing how you’ll live.
Wave after wave, the ocean counts the cost.

 

Melinda Smith

Photo of Melinda SmithPrize winning poet Melinda Smith is a widely published ACT poet. Her poems have appeared in Quadrant and The Canberra Times. This poem comes from her book Mapless in Underland , Ginninderra Press #mce_temp_url#

You can read more of Melinda’s poems on her  mull and fiddle blog#mce_temp_url#

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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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