Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

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Shelley
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Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Shelley » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:53 pm

Well, Maureen, I don't know why, but as soon as I read your prompts they reminded me of Henry Lawson's 1892 summertime trek on foot from Bourke to Hungerford on the Queensland border. Even in what must have been the harshest conditions, Henry had the gift of finding humour. His short story "Hungerford" from his collection "While the Billy Boils" is a gem.

So I've based my homework poem on that real-life event, with a couple of little touches from Henry's short story thrown in ...

HUNGERFORD
(c) Shelley Hansen 13/4/20

We camped beside the border gates in 1892 -
we'd walked from Bourke in summer time, along the dry Paroo.
Our weekly rations running out, we struck out through the scrub
and spied a white-washed building that we hoped would be a pub.

We heard the town was "Hungerford", first seen by Burke and Wills
who travelled through this land that shows no mercy when it kills.
A six dog night in winter time gives way to searing heat,
and "hunger" seems appropriate, with scarce a bite to eat.

We crossed the gate to Queensland, where they'd said the beer was cold -
the argument was dry at first, but my old mate was bold
and ordered pints of "English Ale", at sixpence for the pot.
But cloudy mugs of rancid yeast were all we ever got.

And so, against the fence that keeps the rabbits on their side,
we sat and yarned as old mates do, when eyes and hearts are wide.
Though fresh-made bread and cockie's joy was nowhere to be found,
beneath a curtain sprayed with stars our sleep was deep and sound.
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
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"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
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Neville Briggs
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Neville Briggs » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:54 pm

In 1994 with a colleague , we drove from Bourke through Wanaaring and out to Hamilton Gate . There is a house at Hamilton Gate in the middle of nowhere and a bloke there is the maintenance man for the dingo fence. We followed the fence on the Queensland side eastwards until we reached Hungerford. Stayed at the pub overnight and drove back to Bourke through Ford's Bridge. The Hungerford pub is...well...interesting :lol: :lol: there is a pub, a police station and a couple of sheds. That's Hungerford. I'll bet it hasn't changed. Henry would probably still recognise the place like he left it.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Terry
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Terry » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:59 pm

Hi Shelley

Yes it could have been written by Henry himself.
Nicely crafted Shelly, and I enjoyed the read.

Cheers Terry

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Shelley
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Shelley » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:42 pm

Thanks Neville and Terry

That must have been quite a trip, Neville, and I'm sure you're right about Hungerford. The way you describe it is pretty much exactly as Henry does in his short story. He reckons it should have been named "Hungerthirst"! You are probably familiar with his story, but if you want to brush up and have smile, here's the link to read it online ...

http://www.australianculture.org/hunger ... ry-lawson/

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
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"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

Neville Briggs
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Neville Briggs » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:04 pm

That's interesting Shelley. Some things have changed. e.g. there is nothing of Hungerford on the NSW side. I like the way you have thought on an unusual direction from the prompts, good work. :)
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

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Catherine Lee
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Catherine Lee » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:24 pm

It's clear that you were inspired pretty quickly with this one Shelley, and as always it's an excellent poem. Very nicely done, and I love the last line.

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Shelley
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Shelley » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:06 pm

Thanks Catherine :)
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
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"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:15 pm

You have made excellent use of the prompts Shelley with this poem - very impressed. I have never been to Hungerford that I recall but your poem immediately took me to the little border hut that use to sit on the border between Qld and NSW out on the back road from Stanthorpe, beautiful country and its night sky well fits that lovely description you have used in your last line. Nicely crafted and an enjoyable read.
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Shelley
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Re: Homework WE 27/4/20 - Hungerford

Post by Shelley » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:24 pm

Thanks so much Maureen ... it’s amazing where your prompts lead the mind (or should I say minds) of us writing workshop scholars!!
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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