Monday, June 6, 2011

Australian Poetry Library

It's a beautiful thing.

12 comments:

Fred said...

Quite a lot of good poets whose work is not listed on the site. Poetry Wars??

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Fred, I haven't even begun to explore it yet so I wouldn't know. I believe that like most websites it's in a constant state of becoming. I also see that John Tranter is listed as 'guest curator' so naturally his tastes would be reflected in whatever the current inclusions are. Which poets in particular were you thinking of?

R.H. said...

Lovely to see Hal Porter there.

Phill said...

No Bruce Dawe?

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Hm. Two things.

1) Copyright is an issue. If there are poets (or poems) missing whom/that you think should be here, chances are that the people behind this website haven't (yet) been able to get permission to reproduce the poems. Or, of course, that their taste is different from yours.

2) As a fairly experienced anthologist, I remain a little gobsmacked to this day by people whose only response to a massive effort of collection and curation, structuring, choice, broad representation etc etc is to complain because their pet author isn't there. If you think certain poets should be at the site, contact them and tell them. Or build your own. Or something. But when someone puts together a massive project like this that gives broad easy access and the only response it elicits from readers is complaint about this or that person having been 'ommitted', it's really, really irritating.

/rant

Mindy said...

I really liked the categories. I hope I won't have to make use of the Funeral one anytime soon, but it is good to know that it is there.

R.H. said...

I'm always on the lookout for Hal Porter's name where Australian literature is discussed and rarely see it. What a shame. Hal was egotistical, silly, a drunkard and lots more, but for style no one can touch him.

Anthony said...

What a fantastic website. And there was James McAuley upfront, craggy face and all. He resonates for a couple of reasons.

I just attended a funeral of the widower of one of my mum's best friends from high school, and met some of my dad's old friends as well (dad is deceased) who worked in the public service and did stints in PNG in the 1950s. A remarkable part of our history, as a colonial power, that I hardly ever see referred to. Dad turned the PNG gig down, but apparently it was a good way to get promotion. "The best time of my life" said my Dad's colleague (whose alternative was to go into a local Melbourne business that consisted of destroying buildings).

And once I did a paper (juvenile, I'm sure) in a seminar of yours comparing the religious impulse in McAuley with Bruce Dawe.

Finally, apropos of nothing, at said funeral for Mum's friend's widower, the guy doing the singing did a few Irish kitsch numbers (which, being the sentimental lush I am, brought me near tears), then broke into an a cappella version of "The Parting Glass". That was a shock. I recall we share a penchant for that song at our funerals. A bit confronting to see the preview.

Penelope Cottier said...

Less than one-third of the poets represented are women, although at least there is a listing by gender so this is made clear, rather than just assumed as an inevitable fact of nature.

Fred said...

Apologies PC, rebuke well-deserved. In hindsight, a comment that should not have been made.

Without anthologies, poems from the past may be forgotten. Occasionally out-of-print poetry books can be found on the internet or in a secondhand book shop.

A poet friend of mine died recently. I searched references to him on the internet and came across the blog of an Australian woman living in Italy. As a teenager she kept a notebook into which she copied poems (including one by my friend)and various other bits and pieces of literature. Recently she remembered this poem and posted it on the internet where it lives on.

Phill said...

the only response it elicits from readers is complaint about this or that person having been 'ommitted', it's really, really irritating

No complaint, just surprise.

whisperinggums said...

Your frustration is a fair comment Kerryn ... anthologies by definition are selections. Debate about the choices is valid and valuable but this is not always the case is it? (Anyhow, good on Fred for toning down his comment!)