Articles on Poetry

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A display of acrobatics by German internees at the prisoner of war camp at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire in October 1914. Imperial War Museum/Wikimedia

A glimmer of light amidst the darkness: honour in the First World War

During First World War, the rhetoric of chivalry counteracted the inhumanity of the conflict in sometimes surprising ways.
David Malouf’s poetry collection An Open Book spans “a Beurre Bosch pear/in a fruit bowl to the planet”. Shutterstock

David Malouf’s An Open Book is poetry to sit with

Malouf's late return to poetry seems to bring him back in a new way to steadying poems that do justice to the open gaze, the sly wit, the swift imagination and the poise he has in spades.
While watching this weekend’s AFL Grand Final between West Coast and Collingwood, listen out for ‘action’ and ‘digression’ in the commentary. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Why AFL commentary works the same way as Iron Age epic poetry

Like epic poets, AFL commentators improvise in short phrases, not sentences, because it creates vivid images of fast action.
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, attributed to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1555. Rosemary Dobson addressed the painting in her poem Painter of Antwerp. Wikimedia

Guide to the Classics: the poetry of Rosemary Dobson

Across her long career, Dobson was celebrated as a poet who could take the reader beyond the immediate image to another insight.
Martin Luther King Jr.‘s dream – which alternated between shattered and hopeful – can be traced back to Hughes’ poetry. AP Photo

Langston Hughes’ hidden influence on MLK

In order to avoid being labeled a communist sympathizer, King needed to publicly distance himself from the controversial poet. Privately, King found ways to channel Hughes' prose.
Edward Hopper’s ‘Office in a Small City’ (1953). Gandalf's Gallery

A history of loneliness

Although loneliness may seem timeless and universal, the word seems to have originated in the 16th century,
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.

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