States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'The Notebooks' by Geoff Page

The Notebooks

Thirty years of dreams are stored
in notebooks, written down on waking.

Her daughter’s kept them all,
imagining her mother moves

among those shimmering and scribbled
layers on a bedside table.

Those narratives live on, she’s sure,
in all their raw hallucinations,

their sudden runs of ecstasy,
their weird humiliations.

Yet from her own the daughter knows
how quickly dreams disperse

albeit still a minor guide
to all that daylight tries to hide.

Geoff Page


‘The Notebooks’ derives from a conversation with a friend whose mother was one of Australia’s great writers. While almost everything was handed to the NLA, my friend (who’d prefer to remain anonymous) kept her mother’s dream notebooks. I haven’t spoken to her since about what use she’s made of them but it was an interesting decision. To most writers, dreams supply remarkable raw material, not always in ways that can be easily traced. – Geoff Page

Geoff Page

Geoff Page

Geoff Page is based in Canberra and has published twenty-three collections of poetry as well as two novels and five verse novels. His recent books include 1953 (UQP 2013), Improving the News (Pitt Street Poetry 2013), New Selected Poems (Puncher & Wattmann 2013), Aficionado: A Jazz Memoir (Picaro Press 2014), Gods and Uncles (Pitt Street Poetry 2015), Hard Horizons (Pitt Street Poetry 2017) and PLEVNA: A Verse Biography (UWA Publishing 2016). He also edited The Best Australian Poems 2014 and The Best Australian Poems 2015 (Black Inc). His Elegy for Emily: a verse biography is due out shortly from Puncher & Wattmann.