29 March 2010

Sing Ho for an Australian Poet Laureate [^^UPDATED^^]

When Odysseus came,
with an athlete's build, a sword and a shield,
he followed him to the battlefield,
the crowd's roar,
and it was sport, not war,
his charmed foot on the ball ...
but then his heel, his heel, his heel ...

That is Britain's poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy^^, on David Beckham's probably career-ending, certainly World-Cup-hopes-dashing Achilles tendon injury. You can read the whole poem here.

Why doesn't Australia have a poet laureate?

Given that we borrow Queen Elizabeth's face for our coins, we're probably supposed to borrow her poet too. But that doesn't seem fair. Carol Ann Duffy - wonderful though she is - is never going to write about the fallout if Gary Ablett moves to the Gold Coast. (For instance.)

How good would it be to have an Australian poet writing about Australian stuff and items?

Penni Russon has the right idea. She has her own poet-in-residence.

If the House of Onion had its own poet-in-residence, her (or his) recent works might have included:

  • Patricia Wrightson: an elegy
  • The Western Bulldogs: a lament
  • Ode on a missing pencil*
  • To the editors, to make much of time
  • Stopping by the bar on a Friday evening
  • I wandered lonely as the only editor left on my floor because all the others were away**
  • Of The Awefull Battle Of The Commas And The Semicolons Together With Some Account Of The Participation Of the Endash and the Emdash , And The Intervention Of The Full Stop
  • The Ballad of the Typo ***
  • Unconstant emayle mannagemynt systemmes and complaynt been but lyte asonder****

What would your poet-in-residence be writing about?

OOO look look at this beautiful thing. And that is only one of the many collections of Carol Ann Duffy that we that we distribute for your (and our!) buying needs. Thanks for the heads up, LB! Now, which to choose...

*Just as an aside, at least one Onion was puzzled for quite some time as to how the whole of Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' fitted on the Grecian urn.
** Alternative title: The Waste Land
*** Alternative title: Howl
****or, The IT Wrech's Lament


Laura said...

Surely the House of Onion poet-in-residence would also muse on some kind of cake related subject? SURELY

Anonymous said...

Why don't we have a CHILDRENS LAUREATE? Don't worry, working on it