Gwen Harwood AO, née Gwendoline Nessie Foster, was an Australian poet and librettist. Gwen Harwood is regarded as one of Australia's finest poets, publishing over 420 works, including 386 poems and 13 librettos. She won numerous poetry awards and prizes. Her work is commonly studied in schools and university courses.
Gwen Harwood is the mother of the author John Harwood.
She was born in Taringa, Queensland and brought up in Brisbane. She attended Brisbane Girls Grammar School and was an organist at All Saints Church when she was young. She completed a music teacher's diploma, and also worked as a typist at the War Damage Commission from 1942. Early in ... more »
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Gwen Harwood Poems
In The Park
She sits in the park. Her clothes are out of date. Two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt. A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt Someone she loved once passed by – too late
Shadows grazing eastward melt from their vast sun-driven flocks into consubstantial dusk. A snow wind flosses the bleak rocks,
So the light falls, and so it fell on branched leaved with flocking birds. Loght stole a citys weight to swell the coloured lofe of stone. Your words
Daybreak: the household slept. I rose, blessed by the sun. A horny fiend, I crept out with my father's gun.
The Glass Jar
A child one summer's evening soaked a glass jar in the reeling sun hoping to keep, when day was done and all the sun's disciples cloaked
The snails brush silver. Critic crow points his unpleasant beak, and lances. Resumes his treetop, darts below his acid-bright, corrosive glances.
In the space between love and sleep when heart mourns in its prison eyes against shoulder keep their blood-black curtains tight.
The tenth day, and they give my mirror back. Who knows how to drink pain, and live? I look, and the glass shows
So hungry-sensitive that he craves day and night the pap of praise, he'll ease his gripes or fingerpaint in heartsblood on a public page.
Once more he tried, before he slept, to rule his ranks of words. They broke from his planned choir, lolled, slouched and kept their tone, their pitch, their meaning crude;
To Rex Hobcroft Wind crosshatches shallow water. Paddocks rest in the sea's arm. Swamphens race through spiky grass.
'Thought is Surrounded by a Halo'
Show me the order of the world, the hard-edge light of this-is-so prior to all experience and common to both world and thought,
Comments about Gwen Harwood
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
In The Park
She sits in the park. Her clothes are out of date.
Two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt.
A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt
Someone she loved once passed by – too late
to feign indifference to that casual nod.
“How nice” et cetera. “Time holds great surprises.”
From his neat head unquestionably rises
a small balloon…”but for the grace of God…”
They stand a while in flickering light, rehearsing
the children’s names and birthdays. “It’s so sweet
to hear their chatter, watch them grow and thrive, ”
she says to his departing smile. Then, ...