[personal profile] jaydee
Two hundred years ago (and a month) Charles Harpur was born. Harpur is my favourite poet, an Australian colonial poet who was not of his time. Even back then, his tastes and influences were anachronistic. Given that Harpur and his influences are the largest influence on my own poetry two hundred years later, I'm not sure what that makes me.

Bicentennial. I was only planning to post my own poems here, but given the occasion I think I can make an exception. Or more than once exception, even.

The following two sonnets speak to me deeply. They speak to the best in me; they speak to the worst in me.



I would not be dependent, even for love,
On man or woman. Nay, I would - I will
Be as the eagles through the heavens that move
Boundlessly free, though separate. And as still
A torrent, dashing from its native hill,
Doth make it's own best way, be't mine to groove
My individual world-path, and approve
It's lonely fitness with a sovereign thrill!
Thus large must be my freedom, for the need
Is in my nature and defies dispute,
Even as a bent peculiar to its breed
Constrains yon tree to bear its proper fruit:
And though the pliant deem me a strange brute,
What care I? bring thus myself indeed!



I who write this have practised what I preach -
Have the hard road of Self-Dependence trod:
And all who unto herohood would reach
Must in themselves trust only - under God!
And what a glorious thing is labor! which
For manly freedom manfully undergone,
O'er all defection (while it maketh rich)
Will give us victory, though we stand alone!
Let us not lean on friends. - I once believed
Myself in many - would I had in none!
And why should any risk the being deceived,
When not to trust is not to be undone!
Yet, though thus Self-Dependent, tow'rds our Kind
Bear we at least an equitable mind.



February 2013


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