Friday, 28 April 2017

Autumn (April)

Definitions vary. In southern Australia autumn arrives with seven consecutive days under 18-degrees Celsius, and cold nights. Last year (2016) this occurred in May. This year it again does not look as though it is going to happen in April. Garden guides keep their standard planting timetables, out of synch with the changing patterns of warm and cold. The Wurundjeri identified March as the Eel Season and April to August as the Wombat Season. They caught eels in “weirs of stone and woven funnels”, mussels and fish, along the Birrarung. Birrarung itself means River of Mists. Mellow fruitfulness was anticipated.

Accessible (April)

Will Johnston asks, as prologue to our presentation on Hopkins, why do we like to read difficult poetry? April, with its showers sweet, is the cruellest month. Discuss. As if existence is not complex enough, we want ever more complex sentences. Hopkins wanted, briefly, fourteen lines to speak of the Eternal. For every word that gives access, another expects us to learn something new. We yearn for, even delight in, sentences we don’t understand. The effort is enough, sometimes; we respect the mystery we cannot, for now, know in full, and memorise. We wish footnotes were superfluous. Or do we?

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Arc (April)

Frazzled yellow shivers in simplified tall trees. Great earth-hold white trees glisten. Solar-panelled metal roofs shine a moody blue. Lichen-shaded tile roofs, proofs of perpendicular, glow. Three coated humans struggle down hillside footpath. Contracted umbrellas flap, at the ready, comic encumbrances. Coincidentally above the fray, an arc emerges. Hard purple, red bend. Reflector yellow like a road sign. It’s the full 180-degrees. A second arc forces up from out of thin air. Soon though day will darken again. Rain will arrive in unstoppables. There’ll be blips and dribbles first. April shower turns to inclement weather. Sprinkle turns to bucketing down.