My poetics – introduction

By poetics I don’t mean the Aristotelian tradition of seeking laws and principles for literature, more the whole rich, varied phenomena of poetry. I see poems are tools for maximising cognitive opportunities, which enrich human lives and culture. Poems are more than boxes of metaphor; poems are processes, which energise people, performances, and memories – over time. The poem is ‘scaffolding’, an opportunity for both creator and listener/reader to use language to think and feel.


My PhD thesis ‘A New Defence of Poetry’ updated Sir Philip Sidney’s and Shelley’s defences and was well received: “This is an extraordinary thesis . . . The total effect is undoubtedly an original contribution to the understanding of the role poetry might play in the contemporary world. [His poems] in their range of reference, and their mixture of personal, historical and natural perspectives, act as a really interesting companion to the accumulation of scholarly references in the other parts of the thesis. They are also excellent poems.” Dr Ivor Indyk.


Tom Raworth RIP

‘I hear my poetry as a sort of music, though I don’t think of it as music. I think of it as language.’ Raworth

Yevgeny Yevtushenko has died

I read his poetry and that of Andrei Voznesensky . . .

Interviewed by Zalehah Turner

Just as important as stories are our underlying images, metaphors and practices . . .

Beautiful writing John !

We have surrendered our handwriting for something more mechanical, less distinctively human . . .

Haiku workshops, Turtlefest

Thanks John for the wonderful workshop. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it . . .

Poetry readings can be fun

I talked about getting down and dirty.

Inspiration on the loo

Creativity is a common catch-phrase and not just in the world of arts and letters. We all want to be creative, our politicians want the country to become creative . . . poem

If you say you don’t like poetry

I ask you which sort. It’s like saying I don’t like music.

Letter to an older poet

In the first of his Letters to a Young Poet, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke demanded the poet pay attention to the world.

Happy Birthday Banjo . . . but

Lawson died a broken alcoholic, Banjo is on the $10 note and his mythologising of the bush has only recently faded.