John Tranter

The Sydney poet Bruce Beaver died in February 2004 after a long struggle with kidney failure that kept him on dialysis for more than a decade. He was seventy-six years old. Beaver was seen as a sympathetic older figure by many poets of my generation, born a dozen years later. I met him when I was in my twenties, and found him to be a generous friend. When the poet Michael Dransfield, younger still, called on him in the early 1970s, it was a natural meeting of minds. In one poem in The Long Game and Other Poems, Beaver says that ‘poor Dransfield draped / me with a necklet of dandelions / once and kissed my forehead / in what must have been / a satirical salute’. I have a feeling that the salute was heartfelt, but Bruce was painfully modest.

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'The Puma in the Duma', a new poem by John Tranter

John Tranter
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

In my dream I was surrounded by seraphs
wearing morning suits, looking at me
quizzically in the crowded Parliament. Then I was being chased
by a Russian mountain lion who drooled a lot

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'The Consonants', a new poem by John Tranter

John Tranter
Sunday, 28 April 2013

B, brave brown, C, icicle
pendant, D, dun though pale,
F for faint mauve, fish and bicycle,
G, gothic paint in a green pail

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Open Page with John Tranter

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Why do you write?

When I was young I tried different things: drawing, painting, music, poetry, short stories, journalism, reviewing, but poetry turned out to be what I was best at.

Are you a vivid dreamer?

Oh, yes. I always dream in colour, and I can remember how thin ...

'Least Said', a new poem by John Tranter

John Tranter
Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The ice-cream headache has you seeing double
as Goody Twoshoes calls by your table to arrange
some kind of smooth-talk conference full of limitless
possibilities, lots of cocktails, two naked men and naturally

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