Friday, July 29, 2011

'The Gods' - Dead Poets Dinner 2011 ... Details of Readings

'The Gods' ANU Canberra (Geoff Page):  Dead Poets Dinner 26 July 2011
(details of some of the readings)

Reader ..... Poet ..... Poem(s)

Peter Edgar ... Shakespeare sonnet and ‘Skylark’ by Johnny Mercer
P.S. Cottier ... Borges Two sonnets
Joyce Freedman ... Robert Browning ... ‘The Lost Leader’
Janice Tynan ...  Emily Dickinson two poems
John van de Graaff ... Christina Rosettie ‘The First Day’
Hazel Hall ... Two Chinese poems (classical)
Christopher Dorman ... poem by Will Ogilvie
Geoff Page ... Philip Larkin ... ‘Aubade’
Melinda Smith ... Laura Riding ... ‘The Troubles of a Book’
Sarah Rice ...  Robert Frost ... ‘Mending Wall’
Caren Florance ... Lauris Edmond ... ‘Take One’
Lisa ... Edith Sitwell poem from ‘Facade’
Nicholas Brown ...  John Forbes two poems
Penelope Upward ...  ‘La Bonne Chanson’ Verlaine (in English)
Richard Scutter ... Arthur Stace ... Eternity ... E. E. Cummings ... If everything happens that can't be done
Sue Edgar ... Kipling ... ‘The Ladies’ and C.J. Dennis ... ‘Beef Tea’
Martin Dolan ... R.S. Thomas ‘A Marriage’ + poem by Edwin Morgan
Kathy Kituai ... Frank McMahon and Norman McCaig poems
Luke Whitington ... Wallace Stevens ...  ‘The House was Quiet and the World was Calm’
Alison Hastie ... Dorothy Baruch ... ‘Different Bicycles’ and Arthur Waley (trans)’On the Birth of his Son’
Donna Stewart ... Two Classical Chinese poems (in English)
Peter Latona ... Anne Edgeworth ... ‘Birth of a Poet’

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Token Life

they do not sigh, pass-judgement,
back-talk, or give that evil eye, but
flash bright forever their acceptance
passive, with patience unlimited,
they wait disciplined in gaudy rows
a friendly arm outstretched

but if they could speak they would
say that the kids are left unattended,
that the glass has been filled by
the food they planned to buy, and
outside the sun is shining, and that time
is devalued by a token life

Richard Scutter 24 December 2009

Footnote ...

Australia has the highest number of poker-machines per capita than any other country. Apparently forty percent of revenue comes from 'problem gamblers'. The Government is trying to legislate to limit loss for those addicted.

Friday, July 22, 2011

If everything happens that can't be done - E. E. Cummings

If everything happens that can’t be done - (... with a line by line analysis)

If everything happens that can’t be done
… this may appear a contradiction. What is the poet saying?  An explanation is needed. If everything happens ‘naturally’ (without thought) perhaps.
(and anything’s righter
than books
could plan)
… learning (by books) not needed … living and doing is always better
The stupidest teacher will almost guess
… everybody will intuitively know what to do … except the stupidest teacher
(with a run
around we go yes)
… like the start of an automatic dance of joy
There’s nothing as something as one
… the individual rules supreme … knows best … perhaps I should say the one and only one! … and one is the connecting word to the next stanza

One hasn’t a why or because or although
Defining one … one just exists without asking questions … needs no qualification
(and buds know better
than books
don’t grow)
… books are dead things … compared to life (buds that grow)
One’s anything old being everything new
… every thing is a singularity (has a oneness) … whether it is old or new
(with a what
around we come who)
… the dance that was started in stanza 1 continues … what fun
One’s everyanyhing so
… emphasis on the properties of one … connecting word to the next stanza is so

So world is a leaf so tree is a bough
… there is a whole world in the unity of each object … each object has a whole world to discover
 (and birds sing sweeter
than books
tell how)
… books tell while life speaks as in the voice of a bird
So here is away and your is a my
… everything ‘distant’ is incorporated in the unity of the now which is happening
(with a down
around again fly)
… the dance continues in merry joy abandon
Forever was never till now
… now is the eternity of the moment

Now I love you and you love me
… connectivity between one and another is love
(and books are shuter
than books
can be)
… books are really inadequate compared to love, they are really closed shut … shuter than ever in the light of love … shuter … the creation of a new verb
And deep in the high that does nothing but fall
… a picture of love ever descending from the heights (heaven)
(with a shout
around we go all)
… the dance is really taking off … with love now in the movement
There’s somebody calling who’s we
… connectivity of one and one = we … and we has power (with love inherent)

We’re anything brighter than even the sun
 ... we (love), movement (life) … how can this be defined (brighter than the brightest)
(we’re everything greater
than books
might mean)
... certainly greater than anything that a book can give
We’re everyanything more than believe
… love (life) … beyond anything we could believe … beyond imagination
(with a spin
alive we’re alive)
… the dance reaches a peak of joyous activity
We’re wonderful one times one
… we are ourselves complete, undiminished … 1 to the power n is 1 … rejoice in our oneness … compare with the last line of the first stanza.

E. E. Cummings

Looking at the poem structure and design …

Five stanzas of 9 lines … the last word of the stanza becomes the first word of the next  … the bracketed components form a two way linked undercurrent … the first of these in each stanza relates to books/learning/instruction … the second bracketed component relates to life and living in the moment in the form of a dance … words that can almost be sung … excellent rhyme and rhythm throughout.

(Note ... the word shuter (Stanza 4)… the degree of shutness … books are really shut tight ... that is in relation to life itself.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Love In Her Attire

My Love in  her attire doth shew her wit,
  It doth so well become her:
For every season she hath dressings fit,
  For Winter, Spring, and Summer.
No beauty she doth miss
When all her robes are on:
But Beauty's self she is
When all her robes are gone.


Without knowing the context anonymous poems must stand by the text alone. They occur for a number of reasons. In the above, and seeing that the poem was written some time ago, it may have been because the author did not want their name associated with what could have been risque text.

What is more beautiful than the human body. The temple of the soul. Shame about obesity though! Clothes cover a multitude of sins ...and  in some cases perhaps preventing the same.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bump Out - Anne Edgeworth

(for the cast and team of DUSA, FISH, STAS, & VI)

Time to bump out the show,
the last line spoken,
Time for us all to go,
the circle broken,

Outside this spotlit space
the unknown, waiting,
It's been a growing place
this brief creating

for all of us who learned
long hours that went
into one moment earned
more than was spent;

We leave no artefacts
only a swept
stage, emptied of our acts
laughed with - or wept;

Nothing to take away - ?
Scrawled notes on pages,
Hopefully, heart to play
on harsher stages,

Some, perhaps, less alone -
Those weeks together
still with us, sounding on
in wilder weather.

Anne Edgeworth (from Poems for Off-Duty Hours)

This poem has been included as a tribute to Anne Godfrey-Smith (who wrote poetry as Anne Edgeworth).

She passed away in Canberra at the end of June at the age of 90. A former 'Canberran of the Year' and much involved in the art life of the capital including the first female manager-producer of the Canberra Repertory Society.

See - Anne Godfrey-Smith