Issue Details: First known date: 2011 2011
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Notes

  • Author's note from Editorial: 'The poem "Where the Bunyip Builds its Nest" is at once a poetical history of Australia, a sort of showcase of poetical language of the last 200-odd years, and a celebration of the poets' work. The poem is 200 lines long and is made up of 5 centos (poems made up of other poets' lines). Every line is lifted from someone else's poem. Structurally, the poem is pretty straightforward, but readers have to make some leaps as with any poem that selects and compresses details. I had no particular model in mind, but it could help to think of Ashbery's cut-up narra tives or Pound's idea of a "poem containing history" - per haps the centos could be thought of as mini-cantos?

    The title is a take on the title poem of an 1885 collection, Where the Pelican Builds Its Nest, by the Queensland poet Mary Hannay Foott (1846-1914). The Australian Dictionary of Biography notes that Foott's poem, "much anthologized, uses the legend that the best land outback is where the pelican builds her nest, that is, at the end of the rainbow". The bunyip of my poem is, of course, a frightening creature of Aboriginal legend (suggested by sceptical later persons to be based on ancient memory of a diprotodont or similar creature). The creature is called by other names in different Aboriginal people's languages. It seemed to me fitting to give the bunyip a niche among the ghostly products of other imaginings. I started with the early colonial period - hence the archaic diction in the first two centos.' (p. 7-8)

Includes

5. Galah Songs i "Golf at the weekend, gardening after five,", Michael Sharkey , 2011 single work poetry
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 3 2011; (p. 16-17) The Best Australian Poems 2012 2012; (p. 38-39)
4. Dance, Little Wombat i "Ahab within, mad master of my craft,", Michael Sharkey , 2011 single work poetry
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 3 2011; (p. 14-15) The Best Australian Poems 2012 2012; (p. 36-37)
3. The Common Trench i "Education and English polish are very unsaleable stuff.", Michael Sharkey , 2011 single work poetry
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 3 2011; (p. 13-14) The Best Australian Poems 2012 2012; (p. 35-36)
2. Drought and Doctrine i "The creeks are dry, and many rivers too,", Michael Sharkey , 2011 single work poetry
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 3 2011; (p. 12-13) The Best Australian Poems 2012 2012; (p. 34-35)
1. This Happy Isle i "And shall thy joyous lays no more be heard?1", Michael Sharkey , 2011 single work poetry
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 3 2011; (p. 11) The Best Australian Poems 2012 2012; (p. 33-34)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Southerly A Nest of Bunyips vol. 71 no. 3 2011 Z1860341 2011 periodical issue 2011 pg. 11-22
  • Appears in:
    y The Best Australian Poems 2012 John Tranter (editor), Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2012 Z1902441 2012 anthology poetry "In this impressive anthology John Tranter weaves many threads into a portrait of Australian poetry in 2012. Emerging poets sit alongside the celebrated, travelling from Lake Havasu City to Graz, and nursing homes to fairgrounds, with characters as diverse as David Bowie, Emily Dickinson and Rumpelstiltskin." [Source: publisher's blurb - back cover] Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2012 pg. 33-39
Last amended 9 Sep 2015 11:09:36
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