Articles on Poetry

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An echidna in the Western Granites at Jam Tree Gully. John Kinsella

Friday essay: species sightings

On his bush block in the WA wheatbelt, poet John Kinsella attempts habitat restoration and reflects on the responsibilities of the writer as a witness to species loss.
Fresco showing a woman called Sappho holding writing implements from Pompeii Naples National Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons

Guide to the classics: Sappho, a poet in fragments

Sappho sang of desire, passion and love – mostly directed towards women. As new fragments of her work are found, a fuller picture of her is emerging, but she remains the most mysterious of ancient poets.
Dorothea MacKellar’s My Country, with its paen to a sunburnt landscape, excoriated Australians for their nostalgic love of English ‘grey-blue’ countryside and English weather. Mark Wassell/flickr

Anthems, ‘ranthems’, and otherwise loves: nationalism in Australian poetry

There's a fine tradition of Australian poetry harnessing the corrective power of insult. In doing so, it prompts us to face hard questions about our history and identity.
Tommy Wiseau clutches a football in ‘The Room,’ the 2003 film he wrote, produced and starred in. Wiseau Films

What makes some art so bad that it’s good?

Sometimes a work of art is characterized by a string of failures, but nonetheless ends up being a gorgeous freak accident of nature.
Can technology be tamed? Or have we already lost complete control? Tom Simpson

What can be done about our modern-day Frankensteins?

Much like the fictitious Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's novel, more and more scientists are running away from their real-life creations.
Virgil reads the Aeneid to Octavia and Augustus. Angelica Kauffmann/Hermitage/Wikimedia Commons

Guide to the Classics: Virgil’s Aeneid

Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid documents the founding of Rome by a Trojan hero. As with other ancient epics, our hero has to remain resolute in the face of significant divine hostility.
Art and Seek Workshop participants examining locks of Keats’s hair and the painting P.B. Shelley in the Baths of Caracalla by Joseph Severn. A. Frances Johnson

Courageous quests: Keats, art and refugees

Was John Keats a refugee in his day? A workshop for refugees, migrants and artists took place recently at Keats-Shelley House and the story of the great Romantic poet's life and death hit a nerve.
Gord Downie, the poetic lead singer of the Tragically Hip whose determined fight with brain cancer inspired a nation, has died. He was 53. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

Remembering Gord Downie through his lyrics

Good songs are like good poetry. Literature professor Robert Morrison reflects on The Tragically Hip's best song, "Ahead by a Century," and explains the politics of hope within the tune.
Cover art from “Annie Muktuk and Other Stories,” Norma Dunning’s first book filled with sixteen Inuit stories which portray the unvarnished realities of northern life via strong and gritty characters. (University of Alberta Press)

Writing is the air I breathe: Publishing as an Inuit writer

Inuit poet, scholar and writer Norma Dunning shares her experiences of trying to get published in Canada.
In Sir Thomas Malory’s ‘Le Morte d'Arthur,’ a character complains that young people are too sexually promiscuous. The British Library

Millennial bashing in medieval times

The anxiety that young people are messing things up goes back centuries.

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