#AusReadingMonth2020 Les Murray
- Les Murray landscape…
- Murray’s work helped raise Australia’s poetry to a level of global importance.
- Author: Les Murray
- Title: Waiting for the Past: Poems
- Published: 2015
- Trivia: Queensland Literary Awards for Poetry Collection (2015)
- Bingo card: NSW
- List of Challenges 2020
- Monthly plan
- #AusReadingMonth2020 @Bronasbooks
- Note: Murray’s poetry is deeply interested in memory
- …the past catching up.
- Note: Les Murray favors sound-patterns over strict rules of form.
- …through repeating patterns of alliteration and assonance, consonance.
- Note: I liked Murray’s explanation: prose is narrow speak…poetry is wide speak!
- Note: Of course the moment you read a poem influences your reaction to it.
- We are now in quarantimes …
- Murray’s first two stanzas in his poem ‘Self and Dream Self’
- ….struck a “corona” nerve:
Routines of decaying time
fade, and your waking life
gets laborious as science.
You huddle in, becoming
the deathless younger self
who will survive your dreams
and vanish in surviving.
- The Black Beaches
- This was a poem I would never have understood without some help.
- What is peat? What is coal?
- ….what is Murray trying to say?
- Important to understand more about
- peat —>> coal in order to understand the poem!
- Theme: different lengths of time
- Very slow geological time to form coal
- 24 hr time….sun returning from half hid forest
- Instant time…frost disappears in a “sugar lick”
- Peat is not actually coal, but rather the precursor to coal.
- Peat is a soft organic material consisting of
- partly decayed plant and, in some cases,
deposited mineral matter. When peat is
- placed under high pressure and heat, it becomes coal.
- Peat is the first step in the formation of coal.
- In order to be turned into coal,
- the peat must be buried from 4-10 km deep by sediment.
- When Two Percent Were Students
- Murray tells us how felt, what he saw
- …when he returned home after university:
- “when rush hours were so tough…a heart attack might get stepped on”
- “widows with no facelift of joy…spat their irons”
- “Host of depression time and wartime….hated their failure…which was you.“
- Poem: Dynamic Rest (…all about these little birds, terns.)
- Dynamic and Rest
- Just a very simple poem…about birds, terns.
- It is one of my favorites.
- Murray’s power of observation is the key to his poetry.
- A simple bird, the wind, the sand and he weaves it all into perfection.
- Title is an oxymoron.
- Birds facing a ‘brunt wind’
- …the wind affects the birds on the ground.
- Their ‘feet have to grip the sand’.
- There was constant movement ‘terns rising up through terns’.
- The poem illustrates there is constant movement
- ….in this attempt of rest.
- The Care
- Touching poem introduced and read by the poet himself
- …in his gravelly Australian voice: LISTEN
- The Last Hellos (…again title is oxymoron)
- Beautiful elegy for his troubled father..
- “Don’t die Dad, but they die….”
- ““People can’t say goodbye / any more. They say last hellos.”
- How do you read a book of 64 poems?
- The best thing to do is Google each poem before reading it.
- Get the feel of the poem…some insight. Then read the poem
- That is what I did.
- The poems are all under a page or two in word length.
- Perfect for reading and re-reading in
- order to gain maximum pleasure and understanding.
- Of all the articles I read…The New Yorker presented the best
- article written by Anna Heyward.
- She gives an excellent description of who Les Murray was.
- If you read Les Murray in the future…start
- with this link: The Homegrown Language of Les Murray
- Absolutely blown away by Les Murray’s words
- …he is as Aussie as a billabong by an old gum tree.
- So glad I took the time during #AusReadingMonth2020
- …to discover this Australian national treasure, Les Murray.
- Score: A+++++++
4 Comments Post a comment
Thanks for the New Yorker link–that looks great.
I thought he was very good as well.
NYorker link was very informative….and just made Les Murray come alive before reading his poems. The man has such a large vocabulary…..he surprised me all the time!