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New Poem by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Eyewear is glad to feature a new poem by Chris Wallace-Crabbe, the Australian poetthis chilly Monday in late October.   Wallace-Crabbe (born 6 May 1934) is an Emeritus Professor in The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.  He was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. He is now chair of the Australian Poetry Centre.  His New and Selected will be out from Carcanet in 2011.


       What is it, then, to love the world
     sipping its colour-patched enchantment
  from nub and frond, sepal or wavelet,
   to pierce unutterable blurring
  and perceive things clear?

      To do so will not stop the bombs
        nor silence fatal scripture-freaks.
     Oh, no. Seeing this fretwork patterning
of jacaranda on macadam
is no more than good in itself.

To lounge and think about beauty,
       "the unplumbed salt estranging sea",
    or a spider's wiry legs, twitching,
     only means owning art's eye,
    so there some of us are:

        neither a diplomat nor a killer be -
    a good thing, on the whole -
    but we claim our planetary vote
in flashes or yearnings of
      ostensible peace. And so there.

poem by Chris Wallace-Crabbe


A convincing apologia for art or poetry. Poetry does not change the world in a revolutionary sense, but perceptions are still changed through it.

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Any original unpublished manuscript, in English, by anyone living anywhere in the world, writing in any genre or on any topic, prose, non-fiction or poetry (even drama) is eligible, making it arguably the world's most eclectic "broad church" literary scouting prize. Last year's debut winner was Sohini Basak (her book is being launched in Bloomsbury July 5th, 2018).

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