Monday, February 21, 2011

My NEW Writers' Group is a Bunch of Poets! (With Photos From Australia Day!)

Australia Day, January 26.  Blending right in.
I went in search of a Writers' Group last week.  I'm missing that part of myself that The Group in Stuttgart helped me rediscover, the regular encouragement to work on what I enjoy, the validation that I am a person besides mother and household manager. 

Sigh.  I really really miss you guys.

So, what I found here, at a Tuesday morning book opening at the Strathpine library, was a roomful of poets.  For those of you who remember reading my one attempt at poetry a few years back (and I'm sorry if you do!), poetry is NOT my strong point.  Andrew seems to have that rhythm, but I don't. 

Still, I can enjoy it and so I walked right in.

The Canadian Mounted they ain't!  But then again, we don't have any aggressive neighbours to the south to protect against!  

First off these are Aussies.  So I was welcomed with open arms.  Secondly, they were mostly men, retired, and so....yeah, I was welcomed with open arms. (Never mind make-up and exercising, just head into a room of men in their sixties for a quick pick-me up!)  And when I mentioned that I wrote mostly personal narrative right now that didn't stop 'em for a minute.  In fact, a couple of them started right in reciting their poetry.  

And that is how I was introduced to Australian Bush Poetry, a cousin of American Cowboy Poetry, an artform I find lively, sharp, witty, insightful, entertaining and imminently accessible to the masses.  I like it.  Whether I have any talent in that direction remains to be seen, but I have been invited to BI-MONTHLY meetings.  In any case, I need the push of creative individuals around me again.  And I am certainly more than willing to try something new.  Even in a roomful of poets.

Australian Pride.  If only we didn't have that British heritage that is going to force this poor child to eat Lammingtons.  How about a good fudge brownie instead?

Funny enough, I had been on Jim's photo blog  only the day before and bemoaning the fact that I was unable to find a way to create those pictures in words.  I appreciate the visual much more than I ever did but I still feel my strong point is words.  (And Jim, your words TO the pictures make the pictures come alive for me.  The shots themselves are beautiful, but for me at least, it's the words you add to the pictures that make the story breathe.)  I'm a words lady, I guess.   (No kidding, right?!) 

And here these guys are, creating living images out of words. 

The other thing I liked is that Noel is able to write about something very personal, like national pride or national spirit, without becoming bogged down in trite sentiment and moralizing.  Two of my weaknesses.  These poems are FUN.  They convey the message, but they do it with light-hearted laughter.  There is no need for explanation.  (Oh dear, whatever will I do without my pithy life lessons at the end of every essay?!)

I'm still a shy photographer at best.  But I can catch'em on the sly!

So that I went right home that night and stayed up three hours composing the beginnings of my OWN Bush Ballad.  I had the rhythms in my head from Noel's reading and I believe I may have finally found a form to convey my sense of self without beating you all over the head with it.

The judgement is still out on whether reminiscences about GERMANY can be called AUSTRALIAN poetry but, unlike Germany and England who have officially declared multiculturalism to be a failure in their countries (and you'd better believe I have an essay on that!), Australia is proud of its migrant heritage. 

So here goes.  And even if it IS terrible, I've got some photos from Dresden interspersed to make it worth your while.  If noone else, I think my Daddy will get a kick out of it!
My Southern Cross!

No comments:

Post a Comment