Monday, April 14, 2014

I.M. KEN TAYLOR, 1930-2014


[Kris Hemensley :
Facebook post, April 3, 2014

Sad tho' not unexpected news told me by Loretta who had heard from Robert Kenny : our friend & colleague from the Sixties, fellow poet Ken Taylor, died last night at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond, Melbourne, where he'd been rushed some days ago. He's been in & out of hospitals & emergencies latterly. His friends from the poetry world in recent years have been, in addition to Robert, Ron Pretty, Michael Sharkey, Jennifer Harrison, the late Alan Murphy amongst others... Ken was 83 or 84 years of age, and a boy at heart. Will write more later. A sad day.
Last Saturday, Terry Gillmore came by, out of the blue, no better way as the decades pass, with the words from imagined conversations the main sharing, --the constant turning over in mind & imagination of the time(s) of our lives, in lieu of the social. A wonderful hour it was, recalling our dead & living friends, setting me off on another spin in & through time! As Ken had it, "the brothers & sisters of La Mama", --reconvened, actors & augurs. ]



Kris Hemensley :

Sad news Terry, and on a continuum with our good talk on Saturday last : I'm sorry to have tell you that Ken Taylor died at the Epworth Hospital on Wednesday night, 2 April, '14. Ive posted abt it on F/book but just now copied it all to my blog : see,

Look after yrself, dear poet/gardener who reads Olson & Williams [your biog in Mike Dugan's Crosscurrents where i delightedly found you in 1968]!

best wishes, Kris


Terry Gillmore :

Dear Kris

I feel many things with this sad news and one of them is shame. Shame that in 1984 or thereabouts I voluntarily entered the prison of the Commonwealth public service leaving so many behind, and particularly Ken who offered me his life-home at Macedon (I was homeless) and I had moved a few things in and then the fires came, and came again.
When we were at Aragunui for a night long poetry reading under the full moon on the rock: there was a momentous storm and that is when his burning begun. Inarticulate speech of the heart. What a loss of a truly beautiful man, for he was that even though it shames me and is a failure of language. What a heart he had,  what generosity accompanied it. Death surrounds me tonight, tomorrow I will visit with a friend who lost a loved one this week. I foolishly thought I could console her. I have lost a long lost brother. 
Take care dear Kris



K H :
Death surrounds" as you say, but the depth of life it arouses, thank God for that too...
You too Terry, look after yrself, good thoughts, very best, kris

T G :
 Dear Kris
As you say ""Death surrounds" as you say, but the depth of life it arouses, thank God for that too..." Thanks for reminding me that what we are in is the precious, momentary, only game in town.
Solomon said, something about a wise man hiding his shame but use what I have written as you will, if you are to speak you can be the editor of death and use whatever you like from it.


Kris Hemensley :
[April 3, '14)
Hi John, 
Youve probably heard? from Robert K? Sad news that Ken died last night, at the Epworth... Ive posted something on F/book, can copy & paste for you if you like?
Commiserations to share.

John Jenkins :

Hi Kris
Yes, I did hear from Robert. And it's very sad to hear of Ken's death.
Oddly, as I mentioned to Robert, I was reading 'At Valentines' again, just a few days ago, and thinking of KT.
It is such a strong poem in its own right, purely in its own poetic terms, but also a wonderfully specific audit of aspects of Australian cultural history.
Ken and I had our ups and downs over the years, but the last few times I saw him we were on very good terms indeed, like the old days after La Mama. (It's nice to recall that, at this moment. ) And we had a vague idea of me seeing him at Mt Macedon, but that final meeting never eventuated.
I can access Facebook, and will read what you have posted after sending this email.
Yes, commiserations...!
Best wishes, John


Laurie  Duggan :
[April 4, '14]

thanks for sending this. I didn't know about Ken T. I'll post something soon on the blog. I have a couple of his books, At Valentines and Africa but I missed the middle one (through being in the wrong place at the right time or whatever). I didn't ever meet Ken or hear him read for similar reasons. But I've always liked what I've seen of the work.

It's strange to think back to the La Mama years. In one sense us Monash types were your adversaries, yet a lot of the separation simply had to do with the fact that La Mama was twelve miles away. It seems ridiculous now (esp. given my own peregrinations) but twelve miles seemed a long way - once. When I started coming in to Carlton on my own it seemed an adventure. So I never met Ken (and I didn't meet Charles Buckmaster either though he may well have sold me books at Whole Earth [Bookshop]). My loss.


K H :

Hi Laurie, good to have yours... By the way ive been reading yr edition of LEAVES [Monash University magazine, ed Philip Chubb & Laurie Duggan, 1970] wch has my play [Stephany, directed & performed by Malcolm Robertson at La Mama] in it but also fascinating document gathered by Dennis Douglas &/or you of the La Mama poets... Certainly brings it back... Could/should be republished as part of the documentation/recapitulation of the period... wch never ended!!!

L D :

LEAVES was a strange publication. It was only half laid out, so there are a handful of pages that look ok then the rest is terrible. My co-editor added some not very good poems and in our innocence we used a press that then filled most of the mag with adverts. But I was pleased to have gotten Dennis to do the La Mama piece. I don't know that I'd want to republish it but I certainly wouldn't have any objections to pieces within being republished somewhere.
(April 5)


Kris Hemensley :
[April 5th, '14]

Hi Barry, thanks for ringing, good to hear you, you spoke wonderfully clearly incisively perceptively abt Ken & especially "Africa" tonight.... Therell be a service followed by public memorial on the Thursday... will manage the Church not sure abt the Yacht club, but maybe too...


Barry Hill :
[April 5th]

Well done Kris, for I squibbed the sea today, can’t say why, just did not feel like the cold wind beforehand.
And I have been caught up in words again today: a poem partly arising from Ken, and more fiddles with PEACEMONGER as Tess Morris Suzuki, Prof of Japanese History at ANU is going to read the straight history bits, and now you and blog.


It was good to get yr feedback to our chat about Ken. I needed the chat because I had my sorrow to myself, hardly knowing any other poet who knew him. On hearing the sad but inevitable news I had to pour at least one whiskey in his honour. Not that I ever really drank with him: we met only ten years ago, and we had both started to slow up. Still, in the grog shop before he came to dinner at our place in Queenscliff, he had his credit card out wanting to stock our top shelf, the debit sheet notwithstanding. Same, on that day, his wanting to pit into the hat I had began to pass around to cover some of the costs of your moving shop. The point is he had his eye and mind on what he thought mattered most: conviviality and art, money be dammed. I met him through the family: he went to school with my wife’s father, a skilled farmer, and a man who was more patient with arty self-indulgences than you might think. He stuck with Ken, sensing his unique talent, which I was struck by as soon as he put Africa into my hands. I told him it would win a prize, and it did, of course. His pleasure at that remained understated, as if he knew it would happen. I had dipped into At Valentines a long time ago and was most struck by its cultural ambience: the period here that I had missed while living in London. But there was the ease you write about in yr blog, where you start out on other poets (who I don’t know): the graphic precision, the naturalness of the unfolding, a flow like the water up there at Erskine Falls, below which it all happened in those day, evidently, garlic and wine and dope on everyone’s breath. But the lines were better than culturally expressive. They struck the bell of a clear inner self, one clarified by self interest and a kind of aristocratic sense of entitlement. Of course, he was, in a way, simulating Ammons, that was clear. Yankee ease. But much more than that, as I was also trying to get to say when we were on the phone.

Africa lay in the palm of my hand like a lover’s hand. It was a book that kind of fell out into the hand, from one hand to the other, Ken was so grateful to be gifted with the love of a beautiful and younger woman at that stage in his life. Her about 30 him about 70. Picasso could eat his heart out. When I met her, and found myself in their bedroom because he insisted I go in and look at his drawings of her, leaning against the wall not far from the underwear she had scatted near the unmade bed, I felt almost as transgressional as when a guide to Frieda and Lawrence’s house at Taormina said I should go upstairs to their bedroom. This I did, because I could not not but I did it with a silent plea that Lawrence would understand my lack of prurience. The thing about Africa, with its body heat and candor, is that Ken is more Matisse than Picasso: his aesthetic is as cool as it is hot, his designs are created standing back, their colours are perfect detachments. His lines, ravishing though they can be, hold themselves just a little away from the swoon. And I am saying lines here with his wonderful paintings and drawings in mind, thinking mainly of the Xmas cards some of us were lucky to get. Collectors items in their own right, of course. Perfect lines, and a colour spectrum as perfect as the patterns on a bird. After a few years of getting these beauties in the post it struck me that they were the direct counterpart of his most skillfully joyous poems.

After our talk you wrote back to me saying you enjoyed my remarks (words to the effect that I'd spoken "wonderfully clearly incisively perceptively abt Ken & especially Africa tonight…."). That's good, as I have never spoken them before, as I say: had no need to. And I think I added that he was, really, a classicist. Oh his stream gushed forth as romantically as anything, that was what you seem be calling the urgency of his lines and reading. But their control, to me, was the thing, the balances of their form, their measure, their grace, I suppose we might say. It was with a pure grace, it seemed to me, that he saw his lover off into her next and necessary relationship with a younger man, one she would marry. I know that various people have their stories about Ken’s excesses, but this part of his story, its expression of respect and tact, struck me as a wonderful poem in life. As selfless as his perfectly pitched lyrics.

Ken was the first poet I have met who made me feel, on first reading him, that he was the most natural of poets. Back home, in some shed of his on that mountain, he may have toiled for such a natural perfection. We know the poets who do. I don’t know if he did or he didn’t. And don’t much care, really, such was his success so often on the page. Africa made me want to set off to Africa even though Africa was never mentioned, if you know what I mean.

This poem I have come to dedicate to him began as a rough draft to a cat. It was its grace of movement in and out of sunlight which triggered it. Then, after our conversation about line and movement through spaces in Ken’s work, I found myself wondering if he would like what I was doing with the cat’s presence. If I was trying to do a Xmas card like his, I would want the cat to be in it as he did flowers, or the sea in their limpid movements.

Anyway, have a look at the poem and see what you think. Not that I need to talk about the poem. Its just good to put something down that I would have been happy to read to Ken as we drank whiskey.

All best in life and art!


Under the Wisteria

I.M.  Ken Taylor

    our cat with the Chinese markings
        sniffs the morning
        all nostrils and twitch—
a whiskered breath-quiver of ears.

The Chinese character for listening
    has two ears
        one above the other
        beside dish over heart.

Then he’s stalking, slow-mo
    in and out
        of sunlight:
willowy patches, pond-shadows.

He crosses the lawn.
He pads, like some rich kid, on bare earth
beneath the Loess-coloured wisteria.

Not a sound on the way
to the door of the room
with the rosewood floor.

He regards the sheen that becomes him.
He senses the unwelcome table
laden with dictionaries.

No sign, as yet
    of his plans to vanish
        for the night.

(Autumn, 2014)


K H :

 "The most natural of poets" --yes. From the first (& I heard him Winter 67 before we met, and he had that same breathless, short-of-breath), his poems sounded like him! And because I was fascinated by the physical poetics of Olson & Creeley, I heard Ken as doing precisely what they asked for, even tho he wdnt have studied them. (I suppose another way to that wld be to investigate whether any of it is in Ammons? I mean formally but also, with Ammons, innately --ie his own & not out of the big O's thigh!)
And I like your poem, touched by the dedication of course. Its title almost sounds like a Ken Taylor title! And love your cat! That graphic first stanza description! And the easy crossing into the Chinese. Yep. Very good. 
So, all in all, you deserve a drink now! The writing's great reward for a deep & heavy week --the shock, the sadness, the thought, the talk, the poem... Well done that man!
All best,


B H :

yes, his forms were different to Ammons, he was more open than A I suppose, less affected in his openness also, somehow.
He did not need to create a lower case world, hey.
And I realised today why the Orientalism of the poem felt right. Ken had an important connection to Kyoto; he had clearly peered long and hard at those brilliantly inked Japanese woodcut prints.


Ian Robertson :
[6 April '14]

Hello Kris
it is sad news and thanks for letting me know... we never did catch up, though came close some years ago when Robert used to have his birthday gatherings at Redesdale.
Thinking of Ken immediately transports me back to the house in Parkville, the way Ken & Margaret welcomed everyone in. I see the living room and the steps down into the kitchen where food and drink and conversation flowed in an atmosphere of living intelligence, warmth, acceptance and conviviality such as I had never experienced... serious and searching conversation was mixed with stories and hearty laughter, a great humanity at a warmly human scale... to a 19/20 year-old, Ken seemed an almost giant figure but there was no distance, no separation about him at all... he was immediate, disarming, inclusive and engaging... it was surprising and so encouraging to be not just accepted into this atmosphere, but also, amazingly/apparently, to be appreciated... I remember thinking, so this is how life could be...


Susan Fealy :
[April 13th, '14]

Dear Kris,

I cobbled this from my original notes.

 Visit to Ken Taylor with Ron Pretty. Monday, October 20, 2008.
(Ken, Ron and I had attended the Glenfern Salon on Sunday, 19th : feature poets Kris Hemensley and Peter Porter.)

 His home rides over an ocean of forget-me-nots and bluebells. Huge trees on the ridges, low stonewalls and paths lead to secret ponds, closer to home,  a rustic tower, a garden shed.
Ron and I sat in his kitchen after a walk around about (he’d left the door open) and began to wonder if we had mixed up the arrangements. Then we saw his black beret and figured he would be back to get his hat and he was! He arrived with his mate Steve and brought some supplies for lunch. He wore a thin black jumper over white, white trousers .White beard, grey face. He’d laughed and said he could not believe that he had travelled around France and the only man to be found wearing a beret was his own reflection in a shop window.
From the window, in the middle of the courtyard a snow drop neighboured the rusted brazier. It tossed out its green leaves like a fountain, they shone in the afternoon sun, infant grass sprinkled the bricks.
Outside the window: bright blue-green, delicate, almost feathery leaves and old old wood, shining in the afternoon sun, outside his kitchen. What kind of tree is that? It’s a Yew Tree he said. There are more on the hill. Steeply above the house, but not far away.. a row of yew trees above a stone wall.
Ken said that his own paintings on the walls were reference points for him.Crab, sea, octopus..seals, I said border dwellers? Then he said sharks. I said sharks are not border dwellers and then we decided that maybe they are. That pure aggression ( jn us), Ken said, you see it when you arise from the sea after a swim in Brittany And it is disturbing because you see the gun slits in the wall where the guns would have killed you. We chatted about the Kris Hemensley and Peter Porter event that had happened the day prior. Ken had disliked violence used as a trope in some of Peter’s poems, said Kris’s work spoke to him more.
As he discussed the prose he was developing into a book, he said some sentences are waiting for him to turn them into drawings. We looked at his water colours, some set on the large tables, often of marine creatures. He said when I draw it is almost always from a photograph as there is so much information. We agreed that you have to find the line.
We talked about proportion, and his friend Steve suddenly formed Leonardo’s proportion of man with his outstretched arms and legs and it felt like  all four of us found a magic proportion in that moment inside his large studio. I asked Ken about the sculpture scattered around his property : he said some had been left there by sculptors, and had yet to be collected by them. Ken said sculptors are on different time , maybe they will come back in seven years… they have to listen to nature.
He let me run up the hill to collect some Lily of the Valley. He said, get as near to the earth as you can and pull straight up : it unmoors itself. I found it under the bright red Camellia tree. Tiny flames of green, green fire on the hill, tiny pearls. I said, it smells like frangipani a bit but it is not. No, he said , (somewhat sternly) it is Lily of the Valley. 



Terry Gillmore's reference to Araganui [near Bega, NSW; Mimosa Beach National Park] returns me to the correspondence from Alexandra Seddon, published in the HEART issue of H/EAR magazine, #5, Summer 1983/4.


so in this place I must write to you. Terry Gillmore here, John Anderson, Geoff Eggleston, Ken Taylor, Leigh Stokes, & Dorothy Swoope (near Wollongong), Simon Macdonald, Cornelis Vleeskens & Jenny Mitchell, Frank (?), plus many others. A lot of my students. Trish from the Mornya Womens House with her lover, Kathy, my friends Angela Koch, Venie Holmgren. Lots of people on the rock last night, reading by hurricane lamp & fire. We (Angela & I & 2 German girls who are staying at farm) had arrived a bit late. Terry & others helped us across to the island -- the tide having risen quite high. The climb up the rock was not easy. It was amazing that so many people managed to reach that remote place. The reading did go on for most of the night, then we came back to camp & sleep for 2 hours till dawn.

What can I tell you? The atmosphere of the reading was sea, fire, wind, night -- wonderful. At about 1 o'clock when I read for the first part, I felt impelled to read Owen's Mantra -- just the first part. Although I knew it to be unwise, it seemed necessary. Terry & Ken felt it went over well. I had no way of judging. It was like switching back to a time when one lacked any confidence in the writing. Geoff's reading was alright, a bit turgid. Ken read clearly, laying things out to be seen. Cornelis read some family portraits -- excellent, precise gestures, colours, framed. Very good for reading aloud. And also some pieces where he & Jenny Mitchell read alternately, sometimes whole poems, sometimes lines. She chanting "Manna Gum" between his lines at one point. She is a painter. John Anderson's reading was wonderful -- like seeing the movie after reading the book, & being totally satisfied by it. Leigh Stokes did some strange operatic chanting in the midst of a poem for which he had made peculiarly arrogant apologies. Dorothy Swoope reminded me of Marilyn Kitchell [ex Rhode Island poet & publisher of Salt Works Press with Tom Bridwell, last heard of late '80s when she was in Mississippi]-- that fabric of things was very apparent -- clear deliberate reading. I remembered her from Wollongong. Terry read with warmth -- a sort of gentle communication. Tonight we will read again, this time not on the rock but in the tamer camping ground. There is an old thin wallaby close by. Simon Macdonald is feeding him. Terry is talking of reading your 'Being Here'. And I feel that you should be made present more obviously, perhaps in that way.

And I am trying so hard to be here. I am not planted yet, flittering at the edges, trying to grasp or enter the being here. I cannot find the words to frame anything. I am struggling with the words more than ever. I want to give you the feel, the flavour of being here but I cannot find it clearly.

There are tents set up more or less in a circle -- a table in the middle. Modest food, tea, coffee. The talk surging, going around, people wandering off to the bush or to swim. A lot of cigarettes, fires. John standing loosely by the table. He has come now to sit beside me & tell me dreams of Candelo & a radiant face in a tree -- an Aboriginal face & he is reading now from the note book which Retta gave me. He says he would like to come to the farm. I feel chastened by his gentleness & careful words. I feel chastened too by Ken Taylor's silence & speech -- both -- his economy of words...


[According to Mr Google, ca 2013 :

Alexandra Seddon, the founder and patron of Potoroo Palace, has a background of community, conservation, education, farming and the arts.

She came to the Bega Valley in 1975 from Papua New Guinea, where she had been working with PNG teachers, mostly in drama and creative writing. She began farming with her brother in Candelo, and so Cowsnest Community Farm came into being, with a kibbutz type structure: to each according to his/her need, from each according to his/her ability.
The idea of Cowsnest was to set up a community farm where anyone could come and contribute their skill and labour even if they had no money to buy land.
Out of Cowsnest, in 1985, grew the Candelo Arts Society, which continues to flourish.
There is also a 57 acre feral-animal-proof Sanctuary at Cowsnest, a half-way house for injured and orphaned native animals who are on their way to soft release.
In 1996 Alexandra initiated the Waterbird Sanctuary in Pambula, which has become Panboola, Pambula Wetlands and Heritage Project (over 200 acres right in Pambula).
In 2000 she began the Pambula Flying Fox Hospital and Conservation Area (34 acres protected by Voluntary Conservation Agreement).
And on September 25th, 2006, a senescent Yellow Pinch Wildlife Park was bought, and slowly rejuvenated to become Potoroo Palace, Native Animal Educational Sanctuary.]


Re- Laurie Duggan's LEAVES magazine... The La Mama poets' segment gathered by Dennis Douglas, who was teaching at Monash then & editing poetry at The Age, quotes as its title K H's line, to be a poet amongst poets / not to be THE poet.
The segment begins with my letter (of October 25th '68) to Dennis, reproduced in the original typewriter script, from which the following paragraphs :

"(......) andy jack [correct spelling jach] another local poet wrote me the other day saying do you have to write american to make poetry today?? no. but the american influence is undeniable & one can only be enriched by it - the american [poetry] experience takes in every important writer of the postwar world - the british poets macdiarmid & bunting / the younguns pickard/liverpool/nottingham/london poets/ are all following the open way of poetry....tho this is not the only way for me and for many others...obscurity [obscurantism?] is the the thing that has been demolished!
How about doing an article on the new [La Mama, Melbourne] poets? we cd help you with the field work! wed have a ball!! [Ken] taylor/[John] romeril/[Bill] beard/[Charles] buckmaster/ [Mal] morgan/ [Geoff] eggleston /[Elaine] rushbrooke/ [Andy] jack [Jach]/[Michael] dugan/[Ian] robertson/ and i bet there's a score & more!!! interstate a free mag has started emanating from terry gillmore in sydney "free grass" [actually not! --Free Grass was John Tranter's superb hoax; Free Poetry was the real magazine, edited by Gillmore, Nigel Roberts & Johnny Goodall --I'd enthusiastically conflated fact & fiction!] - gillmore/thomson/heaslop/ from nsw - this is a sizable number [of new poets] - at la mama ive had 26 different poets read /invited &/or from the audience!.... for me its the culmination of an ambition to have a poetry workshop - there has to be a new basis for [ poetry &] society - it has to "among" instead of "sole" :-- to be a poet amongst poets/not to be THE poet.

The letter is followed by Denis Douglas's description of the new poets.


Who were in the park [Exhibition Gardens opposite Queensbury Street, Carlton, where the Hemensleys, invited by the actor Frank Bren, lived in the terrace house at number 21] that day? Kris Hemensley, stocky, bearded, expatriate Englishman in his early twenties, Loretta, his wife, who helped produce the magazine Our Glass, which was printed on a fordigraph duplicator purchased by Kris in the expectation that with Our Glass and other poetry jobs it would pay for itself, Bill Beard, a small, wiry, smiling fugitive from the RAAF - he had conducted a one-man non violent campaign of protest against its involvement in the Vietnam war from within the Air Force and eventually been discharged - studying philosophy at the University of Melbourne, Charles Buckmaster, who had been sent home from an upcountry high school to get his hair cut and instead of getting it cut had come to Melbourne to work as laboratory assistant and produce a poetry magazine The Great Auk, Michael Dugan, former member of a fruit picking commune, former book salesman, former publishing editor, former children's writer, former rocker, who was to do it all again (except for returning to the commune).

Who was not in the park that day? Geoffrey Eggleston, burly, aggressive artist-designer much given to the poetic exploitation of obscenity, Ken Taylor, ABC producer, who had used some of the new poetry on radio programs and written well himself in a style influenced by Whitman, Williams, and Charles Olson, Nigel Roberts and Terry Gillmore, who were living in Sydney and producing a magazine called Free Poetry, Richard Tipping and Rob Tillett, who were producing a magazine in Adelaide called Mok, Sweeney Reed, who regarded himself as the manager of a poet called Russell Deeble, and was at that time regarded by the "free magazine" editors as a trendy dilettante, although they later settled their differences (It was Sweeney who had first suggested that I get in touch with the group, remarking that no poet under thirty regarded the established literary magazines as anything but a self-enclosed and self-perpetuating middle-aged clique, utterly indifferent to anything written overseas since 1960 - Terry Gillmore was later to tell me that the mini-mags broke down the resistance to the newer verse forms within two years, suggesting almost that they were instruments used in a campaign to establish communication with an older generation, or to be able to compete with them on even terms).

Dennis Douglas's survey/celebration continues with quotations from the editorials of the little mags, & culminates with the segment, WHERE HAVE ALL THE POETS GONE?

Although the law of diminishing returns turned their minds to other things, Mike's to a rock-poetry combination, Ian's to India, Charles's to becoming the nth replacement editor for a Penguin anthology of the new poetry [for which Ken Taylor & K H  had initially been solicited by John Hooker but after much debate declined because of the political & philosophical compromises anticipated] which never appeared, Sweeney's to the Tolarno Galleries - and the amount of bread and energy that was lavished on the broadsheets should not be underestimated - although Tom Shapcott's Sun Books anthology and Poetry Magazine led the shift in critical forms that encouraged their acceptance, so that "establishment" outlets became available - although a new generation of poetry readers altered the atmosphere of the readings now held at the Arts Co-operative - although some people got busted and others got careers - although the "new thing" was no longer new - although Kris returned to England and Ken started making TV films about birds and Bill went beach-combing, there are still readings and a newer crop of magazines, and rumours of a great new well-produced publication are circulating [Dark Ages Journal, which didnt proceed beyond the manuscript], connected with rumours of Kris Hemensley's return.

What happened was not greatly different from the forging of other poetry schools in the forties and fifties - the attempts the new poets made to gain acceptance for their poetic were no more outrageous or ill-mannered than the tactics of other literary pressure groups - they generated no more antagonism - they excited no more sympathy - which is to say, they were outrageous, ill-mannered, generated much antagonism, excited much sympathy. The differences stemmed from the differences in the world the new poets inhabited, a dangerous, competitive, and hence more communally-minded world. Like other vital schools, they produced much that was ephemeral as well as much that was forceful and effective, and they made themselves known at an earlier age than most Australian groups of poets.

The main point they made was that creative forces can be channeled into the communal life of a large group of people and function there as a positive, enlightening, life-generating impulse. Perhaps the poetry of the future will be made by a by-product of the inner life of societies and less a simulacrum of some kind of collective public address system than the poetry of the past.


[edited & typed by Kris Hemensley,
April 12th/14th, 2014
Westgarth, Oz]


Nicholas Pounder said...

Thank you all - this is special conversation and rememberance.

collectedworks said...

Thanks for that, Nicholas... Imagine me working on a dodgy monitor screen for hours! Very happy it's reproduced ok. There'll be more in the 2nd Part. As you say, a special conversation...