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To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture.  >

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The Great Poet's Gene

Alan Gould

Poetry by Alan Gould

He dandied, but he suffered to renew
the gift he had to work his purpose through.


O demiurge
of fierce old age
oblige his urge
to stay with edge.


The trouble came with later echolalia, Ambition fixed upon a star’s regalia.


O demi-age
of fierce old urge
oblige his nudge
to grab some edge.


His listeners asked him, ‘Does your line grow subtler,
By this gene you take from Willie Butler?’


O ego-merge
Of page from page,
Did they asperge
the poet’s wedge?


‘The proof’, he smiled, ‘of voice above mere matter
Is exercising power over patter.’


For he was surge,
his era’s scourge,
And his mere rage
Supplied his edge.


Headlong he vanished when the nth degree
Unwired his voice from voice’s wannabe,


so far downstage,
(I here allege)
he disobliged
his lineage.



© Alan Gould

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