Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

For posting notices of interest to members - notices that may not make it to the Mag or the Web-site.
All Forum Visitors can view but only ABPA Members can post and reply.
User avatar
Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7388
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:20 pm

Can I get you a bigger spoon David :lol:
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

User avatar
Shelley
Posts: 1516
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 5:39 pm
Location: Maryborough, Queensland
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by Shelley » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:38 pm

Goodness me, David - I've just indulged in another look at the Overland link provided on your earlier post - with many more lengthy interchanges now than when I first spoke of the "many words" it contained!

Kudos to you for having the verbal and intellectual stamina to keep fighting! I would have petered out long ago under the sheer weight of my opponents' verbosity - and opted to finish the ironing instead! :?

Regardless of the personal preferences and pet aversions, however - it still remains true that an entire genre was (as you say) airbrushed from what purports to be a definitive collection of Australian poetry. Perhaps some of those who have taken issue with your defense of bush poetry should realise that it would have been just as unforgivable if free verse had been omitted from this anthology.

Waiting for the next episode (or is that paroxysm) with interest ...

Cheers
Shelley
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")

User avatar
David Campbell
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:27 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by David Campbell » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:30 am

Hi Shelley

Yes, it’s been pretty full-on over there, with the attacks coming thick and fast, and I’ve done my best to fight back on behalf of traditional verse. For those who haven’t checked the link, the critics have thrown around some weird and wonderful words (“paratactic” and “hypotactic”, for example) and dismissed my “Mothers and Sons” as an overly sentimental cliché. From the main commentators there hasn’t been even the slightest indication that traditional rhyming verse has a legitimate place in the contemporary poetry scene. Instead, I’ve been told I was “flogging a dead horse” because “the ballad tradition you advocate, once in the ascendant, is now totally out of sync with contemporary poetics, both in terms of reading and textual conventions”. And “contemporary poetics”, in case anyone is wondering, are apparently “open forms which often utilise a sense of play with and against different text types and genres”…whatever that means.

That definition came from someone only identified as “Jake”, who accused me of not knowing much about contemporary poetry, so I asked him to explain what he meant by giving some specific examples from “Contemporary Australian Poetry”. His eventual response (which required some prodding) came yesterday: “Don’t know, haven’t read the anthology, maybe that anthology doesn’t contain contemporary/experimental poems, but can’t say what I don’t know.” So here’s someone who has spent some time on the attack and yet he hasn’t even bought the book that was the subject of my original article. Which says a lot.

Anyway, the committed “free-versers” who’ve followed the thread have at least learnt that those who use metre and rhyme are still around, active, and keen to see better support and recognition for a style firmly grounded in our poetic traditions. Whether anything will change is another matter.

Cheers
David

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 286
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by Gary Harding » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:07 am

I agree Shelley,
The original point made by David (which I supported on facebook) was that to deliberately exclude traditional balladry from a book entitled "Contemporary Australian Poetry" was a travesty. The degree of that travesty depended on whether the book was funded privately in which case they can (more or less) do as they like, or the public purse where they cannot, and must be even-handed.
Contemporary means "happening now" and if Bush Poetry was not happening now then I would need to believe today's many devoted traditional Writers and Reciters did not exist and the ABPA was an illusion with fake members and contributors. So before you even open that book, its title misleads. A great start.

I recall seeing another group, massively drawing on the public purse(!) calling themselves Australian Poetry or some such ambit title and in the same breath denigrating the traditional form. Again, misleading titles. Subtle agendas at work.

The Overland discussion seems to have now diverted into Rhyming Traditional form verses free form. Oh well...

David is certainly enjoying himself in the Overland discussion and acquitting himself very capably, I believe. Great stuff.

Clearly it is not a debate one can ever "win" or make converts but that fact should never stop one wading in, as David is doing so very well.. in my own opinion.

I am certainly keeping out of it all.

Go for it David!

In summary though, I laugh at seeing the same tired old, patronising, pretentious, club of pseudo-intellectuals of the same old Overland falling over each other to impress and outdo. It is a shame that they cannot exchange those attributes for a modicum of skill and real talent in proper poetry writing.. but life is not like that I guess.
I can only suggest to them...

"Till your voice goes farther than college walls,
Keep out of the tracks we travel".

geez.. where have I heard that before?

User avatar
David Campbell
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:27 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by David Campbell » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:08 am

Thanks, Gary. And you're right...despite the generally hostile reception, I did enjoy poking a few holes (poetic and otherwise) in their arguments.

David

User avatar
Shelley
Posts: 1516
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 5:39 pm
Location: Maryborough, Queensland
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by Shelley » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:49 pm

One really interesting comment on the Overland forum from one of David's critics is that his award winning "Mothers and Sons" is not bush poetry.

Well, whatever this critic thought of the poem, he obviously doesn't understand the definition. David's poem had consistent rhyme and metre and was certainly about an aspect of Australian life. A perfect fit for "bush poetry" on all counts, I'd say.

I'm getting a whole new perspective on "ostrich view" ... if you don't like something, does that turn it into something different? I'm not particularly fond of pumpkin. Does that mean it's not a vegetable?

The possibilities are endless .... :lol:

Cheers
Shelley
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")

User avatar
David Campbell
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:27 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by David Campbell » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:41 am

Yes, Shelley, that was an interesting comment. There seemed to be the usual sort of confusion about exactly what "bush" poetry is. The actual quote, for those who didn't follow the link was: "It is not a bush poem, it is an elegiac ballad-like structure." One definition of "elegiac" is: "a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation for one who is dead", so the use of the word is certainly appropriate for "Mothers and Sons". But suggesting that the poem doesn't come under the heading of bush verse indicates a very limited view of what we do.

Cheers
David

User avatar
David Campbell
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:27 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by David Campbell » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:09 am

The follow-up article is in the Review section of today's Australian, and it's encouraging to see the number of responses which support traditional verse very strongly...including one from Shelley. Here's the link: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/re ... d75a8973a7

Cheers
David

User avatar
Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7388
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:10 pm

That link doesn't work David - it just takes you to the subscription page.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

User avatar
David Campbell
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:27 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Bush poetry article in "The Australian"

Post by David Campbell » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:39 pm

Thanks, Maureen, not sure why. Try googling "If poetry doesn't rhyme, is it worth our time?"

Cheers
David

Post Reply