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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A poem.

Any healthy man can go without food for two days - but not without poetry.Charles Baudlaire

Sandra, at World's End Farm, delights my heart each week by posting a poem she likes. Many of the poets she chooses are American; naturally. Many are women. I prefer the women poets on the whole though my all time favourite remains T.S. Eliot who happens to be both American & male.

Poetry speaks deeply of the soul of a people. We have many amazing poets in Australia who are generally not known outside their homeland so when I was tossing round the idea of posting something I hoped Sandra would enjoy I debated with myself whether I should post something that aesthetically pleased me, such as Woman to Child, something that spoke of a universal connection such as Woman to Man or something that was uniquely Australian. As you can see I went with the Oz theme. Judith Wright was not only an amazing poet but a social advocate, a supporter of Aboriginal rights, & someone who loved the land deeply. She owned property on Tamborine mountain which she left to posterity as National Park.

A few quick notes: A Bora Ring is a sacred Aboriginal ceromonial site where initiations took place. Corroborree means a ceremonial meeting; a place where tribal dances & music were, & still are, are enacted. Many corroborees are sacred & restricted to certain members of a tribe. Initiation rites would be restrictive. And briefly Wright's use of the word *dreaming* in the 3rd stanza is more than likely a subtle reference to Aboriginal religious belief. The Dream Time/Dreaming is expressive of the period of creation when multiple possibilities existed. Enjoy!

Bora Ring ~ Judith Wright.

The song is gone; the dance

is secret with the dancers in the earth,

the ritual useless, and the tribal story

lost in an alien tale.

Only the grass stands up

to mark the dancing-ring; the apple-gums

posture and mime past corroboree,

murmur a broken chant.

The hunter is gone; the spear

is splintered underground, the painted bodies

a dream the world breathed sleeping and forgot.

The nomad feet are still.

Only the rider's heart

halts at a sightless shadow, an unsaid word

that fastens in the blood of the ancient curse,

the fear as old as Cain.


Rose said...

It is a beautiful, touching poem.

Sandra said...

With very few words she painted a haunting picture.

Anonymous said...

The mere mention of Judith Wright's poems still moves me, though it's been years since I read them.


seekingmyLord said...

Whenever I read a good poem, I feel a silence within my soul and and insufficiency of words to express my appreciation.