Friday, June 5, 2015

The Sun's Hot Hand

Today's post was inspired by an Australian article:

Attorney-General George Brandis busted reading poetry books during estimates hearing.

"Faced with boredom after a tedious day in Senate estimates, the self-described 'Minister for Books' delved into a volume of Australian bush poetry during a Wednesday evening hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, according to footage viewed by Fairfax Media."

Time for a bush poem, I think. Australian Bush Poets Association explains:
"Australian Bush Poetry is metered and rhymed poetry about Australia, Australians and/or the Australian way of life."

This poem I'm sharing doesn't have the usual bush poem rhyme and meter, but I found it in a collection of bush poems and summer is on my mind:

SUMMER
by Louis Lavater

I am weary,
Weary of bracing myself against the sun’s hot hand;
I am weary, and I dream of cool places . . . .

I see a grassy couch
Under a canopy of leaves;
A reedy river murmers by,
Crooning an old, old melody
Tuned to a long-forgotten scale,
Made when the world was young.

Rolled to the river’s edge the hills lie fast asleep;
Pale stars slip o’er their ledge and sink into the deep:
Down in the deep they sink to slumbrous peace,
Down in the deep they drink the water of peace;
In the quiet deep they quench their fires in sleep
And drown in a cool green dream.

The sun insists his burning hand upon my head;
I am weary, and I dream of cool places.

********

Here's another bush poem. This one has an unexpected take on winter: Where Does the Winter Go? by Ethel Turner

Buffy is the Poetry Friday round-up host.

10 comments:

Irene Latham said...

Bush Poetry! Of course it would include a dream of cool places. And I really love the personification of Winter in the other poem. I feel like I have a new view of Australia after reading these! Thanks. xo

Linda Baie said...

So, even in Australia, the government officials spend quite a bit on their own "fixins". I love hearing about the bush poems, Tabatha, and the source too. And the middle verse of the one you found to share-wonderful. Thanks for widening my world.

jama said...

Thanks for the taste of bush poetry today, Tabatha. Love those images of coolness in the wake of summer's heat. I'll have to return to that poem when things get hot, humid and yucky in August. That third stanza is dreamily hypnotic (reminiscent of Frost's "miles to go before I sleep"?).

Joyce Ray said...

Bush poetry is a new concept for me. I love this one and the way words repeat - weary and deep. Just love that second stanza and the images it calls up.

Buffy Silverman said...

I did not know that there was such a thing as bush poetry--thanks for introducing it! Love the cool green dreaminess of this one.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Count me in the "learned something new" crowd. Both poems are wonderful, but like Jama I am enamored of and lulled by the third stanza of the summer one.... Thanks for sharing! And stay cool!

Diane Mayr said...

I see a grassy couch
Under a canopy of leaves


Nothing nicer on a hot day than a grassy couch in the shade of a tree! Thanks for sharing a bit of Australia. My niece went there last year for junior year abroad. She loved it, and I enjoyed the photos she posted on FB.

Mary Lee said...

Poor Winter. I'm glad there's one mourner at his grave, because I'm not going there!

Hey, just wanted to let you know that I am not NOT being a summer swapper, it's just that my summer is jam packed full and I don't want to do it unless I'm sure I can do it well. I'll try to join again in the winter! Thanks for organizing. Community, community, community.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

These both made me smile and smile--wonderful poems for all the usual reasons, but also because they're perfectly intelligible English with a slight but very evident "otherness" in the language.

Thanks!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Oh man, now you've got me missing Oz something fierce. I too would pick bush poetry over the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee... anyday. Seriously. Who of us wouldn't rather slip with the pale stars into the deep?