The Library Agenda

September 4, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | PETER'S WRITING, Poetry |
"With you in charge, I am at ease." by Li Yansheng (1976) (Displayed in a series of prints venerating Chairman Mao at the Australian National Library, 2017)

"With you in charge, I am at ease." by Li Yansheng (1976) (Displayed in a series of prints venerating Chairman Mao at the Australian National Library, 2017)

(On the occasion of a rather chilly visit to the National Library, Canberra) Entering the library, one feels alone, No comfort on these shelves, no phone, No sense of welcome or assistance, Proprietorial resistance. No books in sight; no chores to do, Ideas not enclosed, neither old nor new. Heroes extolled in olden times Are traduced for their voguish crimes. I lack the time, I lack the means To gather up the left-wing magazines In serried ranks, beneath gold frames Of left-wing folks with famous names. There’s Ben Chifley, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Jack Lang and Trotsky, Marx and Huey Long,…

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Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

September 3, 2017 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Poetry |
Portrait of Wordsworth by Benjamin Haydon

Portrait of Wordsworth by Benjamin Haydon

Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky; All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill; Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem…

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Henry Lawson

September 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |
HLportrait3

(17 June 1867 to 2 September 1922) “The minstrel of the people.” So said Prime Minister Billy Hughes at Lawson’s internment (he was the first Australian writer to get a State funeral) His output was large but uneven – he could be both romantic and realist, and his wonderful verse ranged from the lyrical to invective. He was a bit of rogue, and spent much time in prison and the alcoholic wards of hospitals. His neat, clean, confident prose and terrific rhyming ballads and rolling, sonorous songs extolled the Australian landscape, town (which he preferred) and country. Take, for example, The Rush to…

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The Night of the Murdered Poets

August 12, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, PETER'S WRITING, Poetry |
Lozovsky-detention-order

August 12th: Like those who brook no argument, Sinning, call others to repent And lash the ones who speak their mind, Put-out eyes of the hopeless blind, So they shout-down common verse And let the imp of the perverse, Shred the words still warm on lips: Let books slip from fingertips. Hating all who think wrong things Their toxic torment a gift which brings More torture still, more calumny For the straw-stuffed enemy. So they charged the poets with Treason and rhyme; they chose to live Through words that carried truth revealed And strove and sought, refused to yield. They hanged them high…

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The Fireside Book (of David Hope)

We're missing a deer.  The Fireside Book of David Hope 1975.

We're missing a deer. The Fireside Book of David Hope 1975.

The first Fireside Book of David Hope (“A picture and a poem for every mood, chosen by David Hope”) was printed and published by D C Thomson & Co Ltd (Dundee and London).  The copy which L owns and treasures has “Christmas 1967” hand-written inside the front cover, although the book itself is not dated.  This copy (below) came into the TVC household decades after its birth, when P found it in a second-hand bookshop. Our very first Fireside Book was given to L for Christmas 1972.  The dust jacket of this 1973 edition tells how well-loved it has been.  It has been…

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