States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Upper Heights and Lower Depths' by Graeme Hetherington

Upper Heights And Lower Depths


What heights remain beyond our reach
When dog whistle and tuning fork,
Straining to listen though we may,

Sound notes pitched too high for our ear,
Deserting us yearning to rise,
Freed from the confines of our lives?

Nor can we hear how far below
The scales a crow's cawing might go,
Summoning to a fathomless

Black abyss, as Aeschylus in
His tragedies, at first much too
Profound to be understood with

Such measurelessly dark deep lines
As 'cry sorrow, yet let the good
Prevail, man suffers to grow wise',

Sang the ever-feuding Greeks down
Into the bottomless pit of
A vendetta, till all but drowned

In blood they learnt it's better to,
With many a backward look and fall,
Climb out and up towards the stars.

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!