Monday, January 30, 2012

Poets' Corner Official Opening Canberra

Poets' Corner Opening Ceremony - Canberra

Today (30 January) was the official opening ceremony of Poets' Corner at Garema Place, Canberra ... a main thorough-fare for shoppers in central Canberra ... and a Public Art initiative of the ACT Government and very much a project of the previous ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope.

Three ACT Poets had figurative sculptures created by Cathy Weiszmann with signage by Richard Tipping... the poets selected for this Public Art were - Alec Hope, Judith Wright and David Campbell.

A poem from each of these poets is attached with the works. These poems were read at the launch by prominent local poets. Geoff Page read The Heart of the Matter  (David Campbell),  Liz Murphy read The Flame-Tree (Judith Wright) , and Hal Judge read Spatlese (Alec Hope).

Alan Gould gave an excellent address from first hand reflections from the lives of these three.

Meredith Mckinney was at the readings and I took the opportunity of a photo of her against the sculpture of her mother Judith Wright ...

Audios of the readings can be obtained on request ...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

National Year of Reading 2012

The National Year of Reading 2012 …

Five fabulous Canberra authors are now official ambassadors for the National Year of Reading 2012 which is already well and truly underway:

Jack Heath, Jackie French, Marion Halligan, Omar Musa and Tania McCartney.

National Year of Reading Launch

January 18, 2012

The launch of the National Year of Reading is just a few weeks away and libraries, bookshop and community groups around the country are planning their 14 February activities. At the National Library in Canberra, the event will be hosted by the ABC's Jennifer Byrne, and there are some very special guests, including the patron, much loved writer and actor William McInnes, and award-winning children's author - and Children's Laureate - Boori Monty Pryor.
Visit this website to find out all the latest news ...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Creating words on Creation and Creating

Creating some spontaneous words

… creating is a natural part of life … it goes on all the time ... in fact (like it or not) it's happening right now

… but starting at the beginning … at least the beginning of the Bible … the fifth word is ‘create’

… God created the world … so creating started a few years back … you could say married to the beginning of time … and will have no end … not until someone is clever enough to create something outside the time dimension … and God knows how that can happen! … and yes He does!

 … to digress … well, that is very true God may very well know how that can happen, but I don’t think we can understand such complexity … not at the moment …

… but did He - sorry She … (for how do we know God wasn’t really a she in disguise? … why do we always colour God with masculinity?) … did ‘she’ really create something out of nothing?

 … or did She enter some magical store cupboard and like a mother-cook decide to create a really nice cake using special ingredients in a new and untried combination … (not like my meringues which always turn out a bit flat)

… so She mixed it all together and put in a really hot oven … and then of course we know what happened next, the telephone went and you know what ‘She-Gods’ are like … yes, you’ve guessed right she was caught up talking and forgot …

 … forgot the oven was on … and oh no! … well, that oven got hotter and hotter and then of course there was a really big explosion … a shattering bang never ever heard before … you could say a really timely bang … so loud in fact it fell completely on deaf ears … and then everything after is of course just mere history … and everything has been evolving into something else ad-infinitum … everything being recreated … it is really totally amazing stuff …

… and did you know we change our bodies every 10 years … we are never more than 10 years old … however old we are … an amazing fact I discovered from a BBC documentary on the body … creating and re-creating it’s just happening all over the place (new cells for old, the catch-cry of the body)… it’s just a case of opening our eyes and seeing things a little differently perhaps?

… but, do you really think this ‘She-God’ was happy with her cake? … that’s the big, big question … perhaps she just decided to let this one go to the dogs … and perhaps She’s now well and truly tempted to go to her cupboard again to try a different recipe?

 … but could She ever create anything as … delectable, exciting, tasty … well, words completely fail me …  what can I say, as … Bombe-Alaska … the only thing that comes to mind

… I do so very much like Bombe-Alaska!

Richard Scutter

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Journey of the Magi - T. S. Eliot

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The Journey of the Magi

‘A cold coming we had of it,
just the worst time of the year
for a journey, and such a long journey:
the ways deep and the weather sharp,
the very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
the summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
and the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, wanting their liquor and women,
and the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
and the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
and the villages dirty and charging high prices:
a hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
sleeping in snatches,
with the voices singing in our ears, saying
that this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
wet, below the snow-line, smelling of vegetation,
with a running stream and a water-mill beating the
and three trees on the low sky.
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
and feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, so we continued
and arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
and I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all this way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen Birth and
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
hard and bitter agony for us, like Death our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
but no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
with an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

T. S. Eliot (1927)

Commentary ...

Recounts the journey of the Magi (3 wise men) to the birth of Christ to pay homage (Re: - Matthew 2 v1-12).

One of a series of lyric poems called ‘The Ariel’ poems published as Christmas poems over a five year period from 1927.

The first five lines are taken from a sermon by Lancelot Andrews – Bishop of Winchester (1555 – 1626).

The poem is a dramatic monologue spoken by one of the wise men outlying the difficulty of the journey.

Three lines of regret balanced by ten lines on the difficulties with camels, the drivers the conditions and the environment. But they continue their ‘quest’ against their better judgement … and travel in darkness (spiritual darkness).

Then a new birth in the journey an awakening … at dawn … winter disappearing with the snow and vegetation … you could say a crossing through a symbolic waste land to something more.

The journey is from death to life in both a physical and spiritual sense … from the death of the old life ... of palaces and silken girls bringing sherbet ... to the start of a new life. This is symbolised by perhaps the most important line of the poem …
‘An old white horse galloped away in the meadow’. (Re: white horse - see Revelations 6: 2 and 19: 11).

Time is represented by the running stream, the water-mill beating the unknown future which is glimpsed unknowingly by this wise man in the foreshadowing of the crucifixion …the three trees (Golgotha), the dicing for silver … and symbolically the vine leaves become empty wine casks to be kicked around.

… then the arrival at precisely the ‘appointed time’ to a ‘satisfactory’ place.

In the last section the wise man reflects back and contemplates the meaning of this event … a Birth and a Death … with more prominence given to the Death than the traditional joy of Birth … the death of the old order … and note the clever change in the wise men returning to their places not their palaces … but the old order still persists though it is now alien and conquered. The narrator glad when the old order has gone ... when times can be changed for the better …now a stranger in the community … and in the traditional religious sense glad to see the death of ‘sin’ and a transformation beyond a personal transformation ... (however long this might take of course.)

Footnote …

T. S. Eliot became an Anglican in 1927 … this poem is a symbol of his spiritual journey from doubt to spiritual faith. It is the drama through his waste land to a life of a new awakening and represents TSE’s own internal spiritual development. His religious development expands later in another important work – The Four Quartets (1943).

Galled – abnormal vegetable growth on a plant – appropriate description for a camel … probably carrying a large load too
Refractory – stubborn, unmanageable
Sherbet - a powdered confection eaten dry or used to make effervescent drinks.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Report Card 2011 - Limerick

Report Card 2011

could do better, could do much better

there once came a God from the sky
who looked on the Earth with a sigh
Oh what a disgrace!
that Human Race
so he returned back up to the sky

Richard Scutter 1 January 2012

2012 - will we leap forward or lurch backwards?
How was your report card?
... and is God still hanging around in your World?

Happy Old Year to Everyone