Jennifer Maiden in the Age

In yesterday’s Age, and in the online version of the Sydney Morning Herald, Jennifer Maiden has a new poem, ‘The Reflection’ (scroll down quite a way at that link). In it a re-awakened Kevin Rudd and Dietrich Bonhoeffer chat on a plane as they did in the earlier poem, ‘Deep River’ (you need a sub to the Australian Book Review to make that link work).

The earlier Rudd–Bonhoeffer dialogue took place soon after Rudd’s replacement by Julia Gillard as Prime Minister, and as in many of Maiden’s poems in which politicians converse with their proclaimed models it has a sense of moral jeopardy, sympathy for the one who is in jeopardy, and a respect for the enigma of their humanity. It ends with the observation that Rudd’s ‘strangely stylised’ slang seems to say:

So we’re all self-constructed out of trauma.
Standing here,
I defy you to file me away.’

In ‘The Reflection’, the sympathy and enigma have receded, and the moral jeopardy intensified. Do read it.

2 responses to “Jennifer Maiden in the Age

  1. I have just read Joanne McCarthy’s piece in the SMH re her letter from Julia GILLARD sent June 26. That’s something to make one weep. I am in Istanbul – surely the centre of the world – Taksim Square – not a blip on anything here – the city continues its 3,000 year way – but talk is of the incomprehensible US false posturing re neighbouring Syria – of course. Ankara this evening.


  2. Hi Jim. I hadn’t seen that piece, so for the benefit of readers who also missed it I’ve added a link to your comment (even though it’s not exactly on topic!). It sounds as if Istanbul is working its magic for you. Enjoy the rest of your trip


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