Australian Women Writers Challenge,  Competitions,  News,  Projects

So who won the Australia Day Book Giveaway?

Who won the haul?

That’s what you want to know right?

What haul? This haul!

IMAG1223-1Which I have to say is a pretty amazing haul.

But what I found amazing were your comments. Thank you guys. It was really interesting to see what your favourite poems were and the reasons why as well. So while my cat ponders which one of you is lucky enough to win (or is distasteful enough that she doesn’t swallow the piece of paper your name is written on), let’s see some of your poetry favourites.

KathArine (who does spell her name like that) kicks us off with Robert Frost:

Robert Frost

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”

Her reason:  I love how it shows the delicate balance of life and how we have to appreciate things while we can.

We then have Ms Shelley Rae, instigator herself of the Giveaway, bounding in with an Aussie poem for the not so Aussie bound amongst us:

Banjo Paterson

And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around The Overflow the reed beds sweep and sway
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
The man from Snowy River is a household word today,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.

– The Man From Snowy River by Banjo Patterson

Her reason: I love the last stanza, it is just stirring.

Mystica from Sri Lanka (hello fellow tropical islander) has gone back to the bard:

William Shakespeare

The quality of mercy is not strained
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

– The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare

Amel Armeliana has an one-liner for us:

A room without book is like a body without soul.

Annie has pink shoes (and now I am picturing a rainbow coloured outfit, each item of clothing a different hue). This is helped immensely by the fact that she picked an A. A. Milne poem:

A. A. Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

– Now We Are Six, by A. A. Milne

Her reason: I love the whole poem. Life through a child’s eyes is simplistic and carefree

Dorothy Parker

TRIVIA TIME: The poet Dorothy Parker lost her theatre reviewing gig at the New Yorker because she wrote a scathing review of one of A. A. Milne’s plays when he was trying to make sure he wasn’t just pegged as a kid’s author for the rest of his writing career. Apparently, it wasn’t that great a play.

Veronika is another Robert Frost fan but she picked a different one:

“Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?”
– from Reluctance by Robert Frost

Here is a blast from the past. An old friend of mine, Murtaza, weighed into the fray and declared himself to be yet another Robert Frost fan. I am beginning to think it was either an impromptu Robert Frost party in the comments or that you all took the same poetry classes:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

– Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

His reason: It’s so simple. So magical. It’s the kind of thing I would see myself doing. It’s supposed to be really deep. About death. About responsibility and lots of heavy philosophical mumbo jumbo. But I think it’s about the magic of nature. The outdoors. The journey. The quiet.

Caroline Kelly also pulled out a gem from childhood:

Dr Seuss

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
– Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss

Her reason: It’s indicative that everyone has the intelligence and ability to make positive changes in their life that can help them become better people than they currently are.

Jenny Schwartz has something slightly less well known but no less awesome:

Henry Vaughan

I saw eternity last night
Like a great ring of pale and endless light
– by Henry Vaughan

Catherine (yes, another one, it’s nearly all John Green here with an abundance of them) gives us an excerpt from a funeral scene from Cymbeline by the Bard himself. ‘Tis one of his lesser known plays:

Fear no more the heat o’the sun
Nor the furious winter’s rages
Thou thine earthly task hath done
Home art gone and ta’en thy wages…
– Excerpt from Cymbeline, by William Shakespeare

Ron Rose gave us one that comes from childhood recitation in class by Kipling:

Rudyard Kipling

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
– Excerpt from If by Rudyard Kipling

Mariska (who is only one letter away from being a doppelganger) gives us an Elizabeth Barrett-Browning offering:

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

– How do I love thee? by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning

Meanwhile, Joe Jeney decided that the Romantics were what we needed offering us Shelley‘s Ozymandias but decided rightly that we didn’t need to see the poem in its entirety in the comments and that to pick a part of it that was best was just too plain weird. And Rachel Rowberry piped up from Twitter to say that she liked this quote:

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow…

Meanwhile, it turns out that the cat is nigh useless and has fallen asleep on said pieces of paper. Bloody useless animal.

Right, pieces of paper rescued. Crumpled up so I cannot see any names. Dumped into container. Drum roll please…

…upon my word and honour, Mariska, my near doppelganger, the haul is yours! Please email me with your postal address etc so I can send it to you.

For the others, thank you for participating and stay tuned because International Women’s Day is coming up and we also just had the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice and I have more books to get rid of so you may just get lucky.

I don’t think the cat will be participating next time though.

And since you all shared your favourites with me, I will now share mine with you.
As one of my friend’s has just commented: “How can you choose just one?” There have been many. There was this huge book of poetry that was illustrated that I had as a child. So I can give you some snippets as a kid:

“New shoes, new shoes, red and pink and blue shoes, tell me what you would choose, if they’d let us buy? Buckle shoes, bow shoes, pretty pointy toe shoes, strappy, cappy low shoes, let’s have some to try.”

“Why the moon man fishes the sea, only the moon man knows.”

“What does the train say? Jiggle, joggle, jiggle, joggle. What does the train say? Jiggle, joggle, jee! Are we running for to go, riding with the locomo? Lokey mokey pokey stokey smokey chokey chee!”

And now for the more grown up ones ;): There is Dorothy Parker‘s Resume and Unfortunate Coincidences, there is T. S. Elliot, scared to death of proposing in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, but if I am really honest it is a toss up between

“Do I  dare? Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”

from Prufrock and this line from Yeats’ He Wishes For The Cloths of Heaven:

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is usually based in Melbourne but is currently flouncing around in Perth for a week for the Inaugural 2018 KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship. She will be at Melbourne's Continuum and online running a Writers' Bloc course in the coming weeks.

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