Tag: australia

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A stylized, sepia portrait of Australian poet Judith Wright, from a screen-grab of an Australian television interview.

Stand Like Trees: The Overlooked Poetry of Judith Wright

When in search of ideas, one will seek those artists whose work carries a craft, music, and intellectual heft. But what of that? In time, politics dies as it ages with the current mores. Ultimately, the work that thrives is that which can be read and reread. While this observation might seem obvious, it is not so when one thinks of the publisher who, amid ‘good intentions’, utilizes image for a book sale. In fairness, most publishers resort to this, albeit the academic carries it under the guise of ‘good intention’. Everything is subjective, and as long as the politics are appropriate, craft is not only irrelevant, but doesn’t seem to exist.

Perhaps this is why Australian poet Judith Wright has been so overlooked. While she does have poems on feminism, it is not Academic Feminism. Nor does she resort to political screeds. Instead, she focuses much on nature, which I suppose is considered passé. (But then, so did a small-named poet called Emily Dickinson.) No, I am not referring to the nature triteness of Mary Oliver (who is easy to parody—just talk about light, birth, plants, and some dull feeling of renewal while walking in the woods). Yet as contrast, here is a Wright poem that I have regularly revisited, especially when writing my most recent collection. […]