Canberra Times: Poetry Corner

The Canberra Times newspaper continues to support Australian poetry by publishing a new poem each week in its Poetry Corner. The poems appear in Saturday’s Panorama arts and entertainment supplement.

If you have access to the print edition of the Canberra Times, I can recommend Panorama for its regular coverage of literary matters.

A big thank you to the Canberra Times’ Poetry Editor, Lizz Murphy, for presenting a poem of mine last month (6 October 2018). You can read Lizz’s blog to sample her poems and to find details of the Canberra Times poetry submission process.

The background to my poem, Brown Paper, was that I had some time ago been reading The Term, by William Carlos Williams in which a sheet of paper rolls on and on with the wind (you can read Williams’ poem here). While Williams writes in a free form, it occurred to me the subject matter would also be suitable for the rather more structured form of a triolet where lines are repeated and recycled through the poem.

A triolet usually comprises eight lines in iambic tetrameter, with a defined rhyme pattern and the first two lines repeated later in the poem. More information can be found here.

This repetition of lines in a triolet seemed to provide a natural mechanism for emphasising the movement of a sheet of paper that was being buffeted by successive gusts of wind, rising and falling only to rise again.

Below is my triolet (revised):

Brown Paper

(after The Term by William Carlos Williams)

Brown paper blowing in the street.

Alone this child, who rose once more

Upon the breeze and found her feet.

Brown paper blowing in the street.

To see her day’s campaign complete

This daring imp still strove to soar.

Brown paper, blowing in the street

Alone. This child who rose once more.