Friday, August 21, 2009

Judith Wright Advice to a Young Poet

"There's a carefully neutral tone
you must obey;
there are certain things you must learn
never to say.

The city may totter around you
the girder split;
but don't take a prophetic stance,
you'll be sorry for it.

The stars may disappear
in a poisonous cloud,
you may find your breath choked out.
Please not so loud.

Your fingers and hands have turned
into hooks of steel?
Your mind's gone electronic
and your heart can't feel?

but listen, your teachers tell you.
it's not to worry.
Don't stamp or scream; take the Exit door
if you must; no hurry

No panics and no heroics,
the market's steady.
No rocking the boat, we beg.

What - sunk already"

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