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Saturday, July 07, 2012

from Ragged Claws blog: A Poetic Tribute by Jaya Savige

The Australian’s poetry editor, Jaya Savige, has written a nice tribute to the poets Rosemary Dobson and Peter Steele, who died last week.
You can read it here.
Rosemary Dobson received an HonnDoctoarte in 1956

"Beneath all this was a sustained concern with the expressive capacity of language. In a much-celebrated late poem, Reverie in Lygon Street, the poet [Peter Steele] ambles down the bustling Melbourne street, where his thoughts on "the merest handful / of paradise mix or wasabi peas" give way to a reflection in a bookstore. There, he finds
language
bringing its wounded self before us
to say that words are mummery in the face
of the sword and drone: and yet, and yet
we know and they do not.
The poet, who naturally intuits the relation between language and power, and knows full well that their abuses are always of a piece, becomes all too aware of the ineffable, those things that remain beyond the realm of either. Ultimately, however, Steele inhabits what he calls "the immitigable forest of hope's archaic shoots".

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