Sharing birthdays

cattle-in-australia

It’s tough as a poet to share a birthday with someone as famous as Edgar Allan Poe (Jan 19th 1809).  Such is the fate of Reginald Charles (Rex) Ingamells (b. 1913).  The leading light of the Australian poetry group known as the Jindyworobak Movement.  They sought to free Australian art from subservience to old world influences and to celebrate the vernacular voices and indigenous inflences that give Australian English it’s unique character.  The movement flourished in the 1930’s and 40’s.  These days it suffers criticism because it was a white movement that celebrated aboriginal and bush life influences.

These days the Australian first nations peoples reject the hijacking of their culture by white immigrants who had a poor understanding of the native zeitgeist.  Effectively the Jindyworobaks are now seen to have been doing to Aboriginal Art the very thing they were fighting against where European writers were seeking to hijack their first hand experience.

I like the poetry of the movement and I think they served an important role in bringing the Australian voice to life.

News of the Sun: by Rex Ingamells

The noon is on the cattle-track;
the air is void of sound,
except where crows, poised burning-black,
cry to the dusty ground.

Through mulga and mirage go none
but brazen Boolee now,
scorning the mercy of the sun
beneath the niggard bough.

But suddenly the mulga stirs;
the hot leaves flash like stars;
and, threading song on wing-beat whirrs,
burst flights of gay galahs.

Jindyworobak Club

Drover

Sharing his birthday with Edgar Allan Poe is Australian poet Reginald Charles (Rex) Ingamells.  Originally he followed the trail of poets like Banjo Patterson and wrote the songs of the bush as experienced by the whites.  In the 1930’s he founded the Jindyworobak movement.  Although exclusively white artists, they made the first forays into recognition of indigenous Australian art and culture.

The absence of native Australian Aboriginal artists from the group has undermined its validity.  Some might say the current status of Aboriginal art owes much to the groundwork done by the Jindy club.  Who knows?

Shifting Camp: by Rex Ingamells

Glint of gumtrees in the dawn,
so million coloured: bush wind-borne
magpie-music, rising, falling;
and voices of the stockmen calling.

Bellowing of cattle: stamping,
impatient of the place of camping:
bark of dogs, and the crack-crack-crack
of stockwhips as we take the track.

Neighing of night-rested mounts…
This is a day that really counts:
a day to ride with a hundred head,
and a roll of canvas – that’s my bed.

Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe

City

As a writer Poe is more about the macabre than about horror.  His skill is to paint brooding and ominous mental pictures replete with gloomy portent.  He explores the darkest recesses of our deepest fears and does it in style.

Born two years to the day after Robert E. Lee, Poe could, in different circumstances, have become a general on the Union side of the conflict.  He enlisted as a soldier in 1827 and was rapidly promoted to rank of Sergeant Major.  From there he bought out his enlistment as a soldier and entered Westpoint as a military cadet.  Poe did not graduate Westpoint.  Instead he had himself expelled on purpose, and pursued his writing career.

Robert E. Lee graduated from Westpoint the year before Edgar Allan Poe entered the college.  Both of them were artillery men.  Poe’s third volume of poems was published thanks to contributions from his fellow Westpoint cadets and contains a dedication to them.

Poe died at age 40, in 1849, a broken wreck of a man, probably from alcoholism. His family had a bad relationship with alcoholism.  For Poe this appeared to be exacerbated by the fact that the women he loved had a habit of dying on him.  His father abandoned the family with Poe was a baby and his mother died of Tuberculosis.  He was adopted by the Allan family and had a very up and down relationship of spoiling and over-discipline.  At age 26 he married his 15 year old cousin, Virginia.  She died after a five year battle with tuberculosis in 1847.  The darkness of his writing is a mirror of the demons that haunted his life.

 

 

The City In The Sea: by Edgar Allan Poe

 

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
in a strange city lying alone
far down within the dim West,
where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
resignedly beneath the sky
the melancholy waters he.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
on the long night-time of that town;
but light from out the lurid sea
streams up the turrets silently-
gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
up many and many a marvellous shrine
whose wreathed friezes intertwine
the viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
the melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
that all seem pendulous in air,
while from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
yawn level with the luminous waves;
but not the riches there that lie
in each idol’s diamond eye-
not the gaily-jewelled dead
tempt the waters from their bed;
for no ripples curl, alas!
along that wilderness of glass-
no swellings tell that winds may be
upon some far-off happier sea-
no heavings hint that winds have been
on seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
in slightly sinking, the dull tide-
as if their tops had feebly given
a void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
the hours are breathing faint and low-
and when, amid no earthly moans,
down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
shall do it reverence.

Fixing stuff

car-breakdown

If at first you don’t succeed………try and try again? This is simply bad advice!  The definition of madness is repeating the same actions and expecting a different result. So here are some alternate solutions when things aren’t working:

  1. Turn it off and turn it back on again.
  2. Turn it off, unplug it or remove the battery, leave it for a few minutes, and try turning it on again.
  3. Hit it with the flat of your hand.
  4. Hit it with a hammer.
  5. Find out if the [*] is down: * = Network, Connection, Secure tunnel, Database, Bridge, Road, Electricity, Fuse etc.
  6. Check if you have power.
  7. If it needs fuel, does it have fuel?
  8. RTFM: Read The F*antastic Manual:  * insert Anglo-Saxon adjective of choice.
  9. Ask an expert.
  10. Ask someone knowledgeable.
  11. Ask someone who did it before.
  12. Ask someone who is available.
  13. Try a lubricant. Check the oil, spray on WD40, smear on some grease, or Vaseline.
  14. Tighten everything up.
  15. Loosen everything a bit.
  16. Wiggle stuff.
  17. Scratch your head.
  18. Kick it.
  19. Go for a walk, or lunch, to clear your mind, and then start all over again.
  20. Buy a new one.

Lenore; by Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!

Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;

And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore!

See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!

Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!

-An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young

A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

-0-

“Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,

And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died!

How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung

By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue

That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?”

-0-

Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song

Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.

The sweet Lenore hath “gone before,” with Hope, that flew beside,

Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride.

For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,

The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes

The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.

-0-

“Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven

From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven

From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven!

Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,

Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth!

And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise,

But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!”