‘This is just to say …’
I have, thanks to Lisa at ANZ LitLovers LitBlog | For lovers of Australian and New Zealand literary fiction; Ambassador for Australian literature, a copy of this chapbook.
Before I read the poems, I had to remind myself what a chapbook is, and where the term came from. I am easily distracted these days. I read that chapbooks were sold by peddlers known as chapmen. Chap comes from the Old English for trade; therefore, a chapman was a dealer who sold books.
This particular chapbook contains 24 poems covering a variety of different forms and contemporary topics.
Those topics include climate change, some political comments (‘Dear Tony’ indeed) as well as acute observations on life.
I have three favourites in this collection:
’10 March 2020’ which starts:
‘Drought, fire flood, and now this virus.
Covid-19 tops the bill.’
‘This is just to say’ which starts:
‘We walked out of you play last night
from front row seats. We’d hung in there
for five whole scenes.’
‘Last night had timing, lines that sing
and sting. It’s heart that wasn’t there.
Sometimes a pause is just dead air.’
‘If not now, when?’
With two lines in the middle which have grabbed my attention and taken up residence in my mind:
‘The place was old, and I was new.
I didn’t hear its age-old stories.’
A short collection of poems to read, reflect on and read again.