Judith Wright was a prolific Australian poet, critic, and short-story writer, who published more than 50 books. Wright was also an uncompromising environmentalist and social activist campaigning for Aboriginal land rights. She believed that the poet should be concerned with national and social problems. At the age of 85, just before her death, she attended in Canberra at a march for reconciliation with Aboriginal people.
Rhyme, my old cymbal,
I don't clash you as often,
or trust your old promises
music and unison.
I used to love Keats, Blake;
now I try haiku
for its honed brevities,
its inclusive ... more »
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Judith Wright Poems
The Old Prison
The rows of cells are unroofed, a flute for the wind's mouth, who comes with a breath of ice from the blue caves of the south.
Request to a Year
If the year is meditating a suitable gift, I should like it to be the attitude of my great- great- grandmother, legendary devotee of the arts,
Now my five senses gather into a meaning all acts, all presences; and as a lily gathers
Along the road the magpies walk with hands in pockets, left and right. They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk. In their well-fitted black and white.
The blacksmith's boy went out with a rifle and a black dog running behind. Cobwebs snatched at his feet, rivers hindered him,
The Company Of Lovers
We meet and part now over all the world; we, the lost company, take hands together in the night, forget the night in our brief happiness, silently.
Under the death of winter's leaves he lies who cried to Nothing and the terrible night to be his home and bread. 'O take from me the weight and waterfall ceaseless Time
Failure of Communion
What is the space between, enclosing us in one united person, yet dividing each alone.
Sonnet For Christmas
I saw our golden years on a black gale, our time of love spilt in the furious dust. 'O we are winter-caught, and we must fail,' said the dark dream, 'and time is overcast.'
South Of My Days
South of my days' circle, part of my blood's country, rises that tableland, high delicate outline of bony slopes wincing under the winter, low trees, blue-leaved and olive, outcropping granite-
In the olive darkness of the sally-trees silently moved the air from night to day. The summer-grass was thick with honey daisies where he, a curled god, a red Jupiter,
He thrust his joy against the weight of the sea; climbed through, slid under those long banks of foam--
The day was clear as fire, the birds sang frail as glass, when thirsty I came to the creek and fell by its side in the grass.
Glassed with cold sleep and dazzled by the moon, out of the confused hammering dark of the train I looked and saw under the moon's cold sheet your delicate dry breasts, country that built my heart;
(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)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
The Old Prison
The rows of cells are unroofed,
a flute for the wind's mouth,
who comes with a breath of ice
from the blue caves of the south.
O dark and fierce day:
the wind like an angry bee
hunts for the black honey
in the pits of the hollow sea.
Waves of shadow wash
the empty shell bone-bare,
and like a bone it sings
a bitter song of air.
Who built and laboured here?
The wind and the sea say
-Their cold nest is broken
and they are blown away-
They did not breed nor love,
each in his cell alone
cried as the wind now ...