In Twelve Poets the date 1965 is printed after the poem, suggesting that this is the date it was written.
After its first appearance in Poetry Australia, a new section was added to the poem. After its publication in The Weatherboard Cathedral,the poem was substantially revised. It was not included in the 1976 Selected Poems. .
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
'In this feature, producers Jane and Phillip Ulman visit the Bunyah home of Les Murray, his wife Valerie and son Alexander. Surrounded by winged musicians, frogs, insects and domestic animals, the participants walk and talk and share a meal.
'During the visit Les Murray reads his poems and reflects on poetry and place, knowledge, discovery, family and God.'
Source: A Pod of Poets website, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/poetica/features/pod/poets/murray.htm Sighted: 11/03/2009
'Structured around a collection of quintessential Les Murray poems that offer an engaging story about two Australian men - a father and son - who have lost the most treasured woman in their lives, The Widower is a poetically conceived music-drama that explores themes of ageing, isolation, loss and love in an Australian rural setting.' (Source: The Australian Film Commission website, http://www.afc.gov.au/)
Folie, Topography and Family in Murray's Middle-Distance PoemsChristopher Pollnitz,
2001single work criticism — Appears in:
Australian Literary Studies,Octobervol.
22001;(p. 43-63)The article demonstrates that Murray's poems "of more than one or two pages but less than fifty or a hundred" have "modes and preoccupations in common: they are topographical poems in which the protagonist moves through a landscape observing and reflecting; or they are family memoirs and chronicles; or ... they are a combination of both" (p.43). The author also examines Murray's sympathy for the "Foucaultian crew of social outsiders ... marginalised by folie" (p. 49), which he sees as an energising force in the most successful of thesepoems.