Feasting on Poetry

Oh the things that I have done since cracking open that door of opportunity in my previous post. I hadn’t planned to fall silent – rather, had planned to blog often! But once I started on my May Gibbs Creative Time Fellowship, I threw myself unreservedly into the myriad of opportunities … and just lived in the moment! Four whole weeks of writing (poetry!!) bliss! I can’t wait to get my head and blog organised, and share some highlights with you!

I returned Wednesday – and presented an online Poetry Workshop on Thursday, as a part of the Ipswich Poetry Feast, with fifteen schools across Queensland taking part – plus the Brisbane School of Distance Education. I’m hoping there are lots of young poets inspired to put pen to paper after that. There is nothing quite like purpose and opportunity to inspire writing – and this great International Poetry Competition certainly provides that! (More information and entry forms here.)

This week I ‘discovered’ (thank you Libby) this wonderful 7 minute documentary about Dorothea Mackellar, one of Australia’s most esteemed early poets, and author of the stirring poem, My Country.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror  –
The wide brown land for me!

You can (and should!) read the full poem here– which includes the first verse, too. 🙂

And I am sure you will find Libby Hathorn’s documentary fascinating.

Happy PoetryFriday. Enjoy! You’ll find more poetry posts at https://karenedmisten.blogspot.com – including ‘Sustenance’, a beautiful tribute to Karen’s husband – and marriage. Thank-you Karen!

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19 comments

  1. Hi Kat! Oh, its good to see you, friend. I have not a doubt that when you are “quiet” good poetry is happening. I really look forward to your shared insight. I learn a lot from you. I’m off to find out more about this poet, Dorthea McKellar. The wildness and freedom in the first verse has snagged me. I’m so glad you are sharing and teaching and learning with young poets. We, the world over, really need that!

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    • Oh, Linda. What a beautiful comment. You have quite made my day. Thank-you! xx (It is always a joy to visit you, too!)
      Funnily enough, that (most well-known) verse is not the first verse of Dorothea’s poem – but you’ve likely discovered that, by now. 🙂

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  2. You have been busy! How wonderful to have all that time to write poetry and to inspire young writers! I love “My Country”, and I look forward to watching the documentary later today. Thanks for sharing these!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It truly was wonderful, Linda. And the opportunity to share with young poets, both as a part of the Fellowship, and then again with the online chat, made it satisfying and rewarding on a deeper level. Inspiring!

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  3. I’m so glad you had a wonderful experience and dove in to enjoy every bit of it! (though we missed your blogs!) My Country is a powerful love song to Australia, embracing “her beauty and her “terror”. It tempts me to write a love song to Maine, using this as a model. Thanks so much for sharing and for introducing me to Dorothea Mckellar.

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    • I’m so glad you enjoyed Dorothea Mackellar, Molly. So true – a powerful love song to Australia. I confess, I’ve written my own love song, using a Banjo Patterson mentor text (On Kiley’s Run) but expressing my awe, Dorothea-style. (For the Western Qld landscape – not actually my home, but a landscape/colour palette that inspires intense feelings. Such rich and burning colours. That raw and rugged beauty…)

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  4. Kat, you have opened my eyes to your country with Dorothea’s amazing poem. The documentary was fabulous and introduced the poem, Colors, that also resonated with me. You must be exhausted but exhilarated by your month-long venture and follow-up, online poetry workshop. Here’s to purpose and opportunity to inspire writing! I have a note to ask you if I can use your friendly camel photo in my spring gallery.

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    • I am so glad I shared it, Carol. I wasn’t familiar with ‘Colours’ until watching the documentary. I’m small part exhausted and large part exhilarated after my time in Adelaide. Still so much to do! And – I’ve emailed you about the camel poem. 🙂

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  5. Sounds like you’ve been busy Kat, and I look forward to hearing some of the poetry that you worked on over your month of writing–and how wonderful to have all that time to just write!

    Thanks for sharing Dorothea Mackellar’s gorgeous poem and the video–which I enjoyed watching– what a full/rich writing life she had!

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    • The month of writing (with a few days out for school visits – that were equally inspiring!) was fantabulous, Michelle. Also amazing was the wealth of kidlit opportunities at hand – book shops, book clubs, publishers, kidlit critters, SCBWI meeting, informal catch-ups… You just don’t get all that as a regional writer! I was perhaps the most thankful Fellow ever – because *everything* was new!! #andexciting 🙂

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