Friday, 11 December 2015

Poet's day

Hi there,

Here in Australia (and perhaps elsewhere in the world) poets day is a fun acronym that basically means that today is Friday.

So, today, being Friday, I'm messing with the acronym and will dedicate the day to poetry.

I, as I've mentioned on several occasions, am a hopeless poet. I couldn't write a poem to save myself but I do love poetry.

One of my favourite poets is a chap called Robert Frost. I just love his poem Stopping by woods on a snowy evening. Those of you who remember the heartwarming Robin Williams movie, Dead Poets Society, will maybe remember the last lines of this enchanting poem that was quoted in the movie:

and miles to go before I sleep
and miles to go before I sleep.


Another poet whose work I admire is George Gott. I've had trouble locating a website or anything tangible I can supply to you for further information about George, but I did find this reference to him on Amazon for a book of his poems called The Willow Tree.  Mr Gott wrote this poem, I do hope he doesn't mind me putting it on this page for you to read - to me, it's magical.

A tree frog dreams of a tree frog
by George Gott

In a place of wet ferns and mortality.
I have imagined a symphony.
But I can produce only a note or two.
On this September night I would settle for even a delusion.
As a tree frog among tree frogs I dream of you.

When I was sixteen and still at high school, I had the opportunity to choose to study either cookery or literature as an elective. You can imagine the popularity of the cooking class! Conversely the literature class wasn't as popular. 

I chose the literature class, along with some dozen other bookish nerds in my year. We studied the classics and other more modern works, and we were also given the opportunity to study poetry. But that wasn't just about reading and appreciating - we really analysed these works to understand the deep moral function - as we liked to say.

We loved it, and it honestly took my respect for words to an entirely new level. I still have most of those books I analysed, and sometimes I go back over them ... just because.

I took this picture from one of my poetry books - it's a D.H. Lawrence poem called The Snake. When I look at this analysis it makes me smile ... I really was a word nerd! And what's more, I still am! 


Now, for you poets out there, the Y.B. Yeats Poetry Prize for Australia is open to Australian residents, and accepting entries until 31 March 2016. That's over three months of writing time so get to work! You have to be in it to win it!

Until next week, do yourself a favour and read the full length Clancy of the Overflow by A.B. (Banjo) Paterson.

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