Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday's poem: Peter Porter on Australia's obsession with national identity

"See how our once lived lives stay on to haunt us"
Peter Porter 

Australian poet Peter Porter (1929-2010) in a poem titled A Burning Fiery Furnace questioning Australian's narcissistic obsession with national identity

"Henry Ford was right: what's history,
Why do Australians wonder who they are?
Infinite stars in heaven-your one star

Is your own life- the millions don't agree.
They sulk in digits and symposia
And measure muscle tone and their synapses
Childhood’s Tower (not Ivory) collapses.
Eucalyptus is a plain ambrosia.
I write this down I’m sure because I’m old;
The country of my birth’s become hot news
And selfishness would always take short views —
My ancestors came out and found no gold.
The world is made again in each of us.Australian homes are dark to help the sun
Lure children out for democratic fun.
The myopic boy’s gazetted an Odysseus."

A collection of Peter Porter's poetry can be found hereA 2009 interview with Peter Porter from the ABC Radio National Book Show is here

This piece from the Australian includes links to Obituaries of Peter Porter.

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