'"Sometimes in life you get lucky. Someone of rare vision and remarkable gifts crosses your path ." Fiona Capp, novelist and author of the acclaimed memoir That Oceanic Feeling, was 17 years old when she first met Judith Wright. Everything that followed from this encounter led her, 30 years later, on a journey through the landscapes that made Wright one of Australia's greatest poets and environmental visionaries.
Capp follows in Wright's footsteps through the high tableland of New England, the rainforests of Queensland and the austere bushland outside Canberra, uncovering the land out of which the poetry sprang. Her travels also take the reader through the life of the poet - the early tragedy that shaped her childhood, her complex relationship with her family, and the two great loves of her life - while exploring the well-springs of Wright's art and activism.
Judith Wright sensed in her bones that something had gone profoundly wrong with our attitude to the earth, long before the term "conservationist" entered public discourse. In this intimate and moving memoir, Fiona Capp shows how the "country that built my heart" - as Wright called it - became part of the collective consciousness of the nation; how her poetry created a place that belongs to all of us.' (From the publisher's website.)
South of my days' circle, part of my blood's country,
rises that tableland, high delicate outline of bony slopes wincing under the winter,
low trees blue-leaved and olive, out-cropping granite-
clean, lean, hungry country...
...South of my days' circle
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep.
Judith Wright 'South of My Days' (q.v.)