Poetry week - remembering times past, looking to the future
5 September 2011
Alas; poor Botany Bay your lot is very hard Better your Colony had never been made- Your low minded Obstinate Governors Knavery He still strives to hide under the cloak of verity His love of Paltry Self is daily increasing As the credit he gives his Rascals is hourly provingAnother early poet who was definitely a convict was Francis MacNamara, better known as "Frank the Poet". He was born in 1811 in Cashel, Ireland, transported to Botany Bay in 1832, then to Van Diemen's Land in 1842. He left Launceston 23 August 1850 "Free by servitude" and died at Pipe Clay Creek near Mudgee NSW in August 1861. Only two of his poems were published in his lifetime, the longest called A Dialogue between two Hibernians in Botany Bay was published in the Sydney Gazette on 8 February 1840 while he was incarcerated in Parramatta Gaol. A very sad tale indeed! Well, these days poets have many other avenues to make their work known, including zines. So, now to a couple of poetic zines we've recently acquired that appealed to me. I really enjoyed Edward the boy with a skull for a head by John Stewart. Has a sad start, but a happy ending that made me smile. There is someone for everyone and we should celebrate our differences and not try to hide them or conform! On a different note, I loved Tamara Lazaroff's zine Briefly, birds - reflections in poetry and prose. With spring in the air, and birds all around us, these gentle, heartfelt thoughts show someone coming to a sense of peace with herself and learning how to spread her wings and fly!