States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Learning to Know One's Place' by Graeme Hetherington

Learning To Know One's Place

(For Gwen Harwood And James McAuley)

 

'Hello Graeme, old love, it's Gwen,
I'm sitting on a cloud too fine
For jealousy to let you see.
But please believe your ears as I

Exhort you not to bow to age,
To keep tramping around in search
Of at least one poem that will be
As sure of fame as all mine are.

There's still life in your Hell's Gate's, West
Coast of Tasmania being that's
Done well despite the limits of
Its origins encumbering you,

The baggage you can't shed to fly
As high as I have done, or Jim,
Who sits upon the right hand side
Of you-know-who and sends his love'.

Graeme Hetherington

Graeme Hetherington

Graeme Hetherington

Graeme Hetherington, born in 1937, grew up on the west coast of Tasmania before attending boarding school and the University of Tasmania in Hobart, where he became a lecturer in the Classics Department. Not finding any Hittites, Greeks or Romans in Australia, he went to Europe for a more substantial contact with them. Most of his adult life has been spent there, but he now lives back in Tasmania. He is the author of four books of poetry, and has another two coming out in 2017.

One of the themes of his work is disorientation à la Richard Mahoney!