Lucy Dougan visited the University of Canberra in 2010 and presented a seminar to students and staff about her creative practice as a poet. Following are selected excerpts from the seminar, which took place on 4 November 2010.
Lucy Dougan: When Paul asked me to this seminar and I started thinking about revisiting my earlier life and the things that came together and made it possible for me to sustain and have a writing life I think there were two things. There was a lot of physical freedom in my childhood. It was a different world and I think we’re trying to circle back to that aren’t we—acknowledging that children need more physical freedom again and that we’ve been helicopter parents.
But the biggest factor was that in his early forties my father, who’d been incredibly busy in his working life, stopped, took a step back and started sculpting, and the house suddenly just became full of all this stuff he was making and it just spread out everywhere. And I was the baby of the family and the older ones were not particularly interested in hanging around with a parent—you know they were trying to avoid that as much as possible—and so I just spent a lot of time sort of sideways; side by side with him mucking around with all sorts of material.
He was intensely pragmatic—he was not a romantic sort of a person—and so he felt he could learn this skill. What he taught me was that you could make something and not be afraid to smash it up straight away. Not to over-invest in those early stages. I saw his maquettes, or that’s how I think of them now and I think of them as a kind of a drafting. So he’d make something very quickly and smash it up and then make it again. When he took us to the beach he was trying to learn anatomy and how to sculpt a face. He’d be very patient and make faces in the sand with us and the provisional nature of that was important to me as an artist. Not to over-invest, not to hold on and not to be frightened. The works will come back—do you know what I mean? They’ll niggle and they’ll come back and if they don’t come back maybe there wasn’t anything there.
My whole writing practice is partly based on losing and longing and I think that’s so for all of us. Often you have glimpses of this ideal thing that you want to make, or want to write—I think all artists do. But you can only recapture and reproduce just a tiny, tiny amount of that. And there’s the difference between the made and the given.
I think as you progress in any kind of creative life you understand that you have access to material in different ways. The all time favourite Holy Grail way is that it just lands in your lap; it seems to pour out of your body. It feels like a fantastic cartwheel in a way. It feels like you’ve done something. You’ve nailed it and you know you’ve done it. You’ve got this body knowledge and it’s absolutely what you wanted. I think that seems like a sort of a muse idea—you know, a divine inspiration idea—but I think you’ve been doing a whole lot of unconscious work and you’ve also been reading. Your eye has been looking at the way material gets into shapes that people can consume and other people can understand so you’ve taken on this sort of repertoire and for whatever reasons there was a moment that allowed it to all just blurgh out. You feel fantastic.
Another way is perhaps you yearn and yearn to express something. You struggle a lot to do that. For me this is the process. Something bothers you and you know it’s not just going to spill out. So maybe there’s many, many drafts and, for me, those poems—I’m never as satisfied with them. I can always see the holes in them. I can always see the bumps that I haven’t quite ironed out.
But there’s another way that’s just sheer hard graft. For a long time I’ve worked under—and a lot of writers do it—a lot of little quotations. You have a pin board or maybe it’s your computer or maybe it’s your phone. It could be virtual but it might be real. You write yourself little messages or keep little quotes or maybe there’s objects or images or there’s something and they sort of inhabit—they come to actually kind of reside and rest in everything you do. I think of them as like a talisman really and I’ll read you one that’s worked for me from DeLillo’s The body artist:
Take the risk. Believe what you see and hear. It’s the pulse of every secret intimation you’ve ever felt around the edges of your life. (DeLillo 2002: 122)
I had said to Paul—I’ve been bugging him saying I think it’s the epigraph, but it was right at the end of the book—I kept on returning and returning to that as a little catch. There’s a beautiful essay in a book called Fires by Raymond Carver. If you’re ever feeling down on your luck as a writer go to Carver’s essays because they’re full of what it is to struggle, of what it is to yearn. He talks about the baleful influence of his children. He talks about having to rent a caravan to put in the back yard to get away from them. He worked on the method of the little phrases that you stick up around the place. A favourite from a Chekhov story was ‘and suddenly everything became clear to him’, and that was a favourite of his. And the other one was ‘No tricks’ and that seems very right for him (Carver 2009: 23). So I very much work in that way. For long periods of time I try not to think of writing as work, and I try hard not to get self-conscious about what I’m doing because I feel that that would be completely fatal.
There’s a beautiful radio interview with the video artist Bill Viola and he talked about meeting … it’s one of those grasshopper-Zen master type stories, and he talked about how Japan was very important to him, and about being a younger artist having time in Japan to meet a Zen master he was enamoured of. He said he sat down with this guy in a very western way and started to tell him what his work was about. It went on and on and on and he could hear himself going on and on and on, then at one point the Zen master got up and struck him in the middle of the forehead and said ‘No thinking!’ (Kohn 2010). In making poems there is a time for thinking but it’s later. Things are coalescing and then I move into the making phase where no way am I going to consciously think about anything much.
Sometimes people say to me, ‘What were you thinking when you wrote that?’ and I always say ‘Nothing. I was thinking absolutely nothing. My mind was empty.’ And painters will say it to you. So I think most artists will intuitively understand that there’s that sort of hazy making time then there is the graft which is the ‘Have I made something that ...’ Then later on you have to start thinking about a reader or thinking about an audience. I think it’s one thing to hold something dear and spill it out and another thing for it finally to become something that someone’s going to read.
I was influenced and mentored by an English poet who landed up in Perth just around the time that I became interested in writing. Her name was Julia Darling and she was from Newcastle on Tyne. She was pretty feisty. She set up a group called The Poetry Virgins who had sat on the doorstep of the publisher Neil Astley and said we’re a woman’s cooperative, notice us. I feel she was a gateway to that sort of voice in English poetry that meant a lot to me. People like the Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie, earlier Stevie Smith, currently Hugo Williams. I think abiding influences on me have been poets like Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Jennings.
I think it’s only now, retrospectively, that that I can understand what I value in them. I think it’s that there is no shi-shi writing, that there are no tricks. It’s quiet, it works. Its power is in its cumulative effect. You’re not going to find huge differences in tone. I think that quietness has really appealed to me.
Paul Hetherington: It’s a very interesting group because Jennings and Rossetti were Romantics interested in spiritual issues and then the poets you mentioned earlier are quirky and a bit idiosyncratic.
Lucy: Yes. I think that’s the mix. That’s the two poles that I’m ...
Paul: Quirky and idiosyncratic or ...
Lucy: There’s that sort of spiritual quality and I think my interest in that is increasing as I’m getting older because I’m so bloody scared of dying and if you’re a heathen like me you need that in your life. Then I think that sort of eccentricity or quirk I like. A sort of lightness as well.
The other thing is movement. I don’t know whether it’s so for you too but I find that there’s something about walking and swimming—and I try to run but I’m pretty crap at it—but movement in general—I think perhaps is just connected to rhythm in itself which is such an important sort of freeing up. You can get into a kind of rhythmic trance almost—there’s that connection of our voice to walking. When we crawled around on all fours we couldn’t make sounds because our larynx was too high. When we stood up, when we walked and our arms were free and we started to become bipeds our larynx dropped.
They do say that if you’ve ever had a stroke and you have to learn to walk again, if you walk with music or anything that can induce a rhythm, then you learn much faster. So I think it’s important to have that whole side of your creative life that is not connected to a study or a library or a pen or a piece of paper—that is just about your body and rhythm. That’s been most important to me. I swim about a kilometre a day usually and I just find it’s a sort of emptying out. People who practice meditation, and I’m not very good at that, might find the same. I think working that in to your creative life is an important thing.
The other thing I was going to say is that my writing life has been very curtailed by raising children, three children with quite big gaps. But at the same time they’ve made me more alive than I would have been. Whatever it is that maybe slows down time is important. Anyone whose spent time with a child will understand how children are in the world. You walk them to kindy and along the way you’ll have to stop six or seven times and you have to look at something really, really small way down there. It will be something really tiny—a bug or a leaf or something—but in having children I’ve felt that their ways of being in the world allowed me to reconnect to childhood as a source. It allowed me to somehow get away from adult time and to have that dimension again in my life.
I especially love John Berger’s work. I really recommend it because his whole lifelong commitment has been to thinking about different ways of seeing. He’s such an important thinker I think for anyone who’s interested in creative work. And there’s a sort of ethical or political dimension to his work always, as well. I’ll read you a little bit of this. It’s the first essay in a book called The shape of the pocket, and is about all kinds of resistances to what late capitalism has forced us to become. The first essay is called ‘Opening a gate’, and I’ll crib it and read you a little bit of it.
At his house he keeps a series of photographs by a Finnish photographer and they’re all empty landscapes that contain a dog in them. And he says at first, that people look at them and they get a curious look on their face and then they see the dog and then he says there’s this fleeting moment that comes across their faces and is lost. And at first he thought, maybe the dog’s a bit of a gimmick and then he thought, no, the dog took the photographer into another zone of the visible. By following the dog, the dog allowed the human to see that for a moment and I’ll read you this little beautiful part from it. He’s talking about our visual experience really broadly, and he says:
The speed of a cinema film is 25 frames per second. God knows how many frames per second flicker past in our daily perception. But it is as if, at the brief moments I’m talking about, suddenly and disconcertingly we see between two frames. We come upon a part of the visible which wasn’t destined for us. Perhaps it was destined for night birds, reindeer, ferrets, eels or whales …
Our customary visible order is not the only one: It coexists with other orders. Stories of fairies, sprites and ogres were a human attempt to come to terms with this coexistence. Hunters are continually aware of it and so can read signs we do not see. Children can see it intuitively, because they have the habit of hiding behind things. There they discover the interstices between different sets of the visible.
He goes on to talk about dogs as guides; why we train dogs as guides. And then he says:
Probably it was the dog who led the great Finnish photographer to the moment and place for the taking of these pictures. In each one the human order, still in sight, is nevertheless no longer central and is slipping away. The interstices are open.
The result is unsettling. There is more solitude, more pain, more dereliction. At the same time, there is an expectancy which I have not experienced since childhood, since I talked to dogs, listened to their secrets and kept them to myself. (Berger 2002: 5-6)
So that is the kind of moment that he sees on people’s faces, when they see the dog which is that kind of buried memory of this other zone, this other place. So as you’re probably gathering—and from the DeLillo quote I read to you before—this is a central, really central preoccupation of my work—of how it is that you step sideways and see something differently. How it is you can fossick around on the margins. And I think that poetry holds a marginal place in our culture. And in one way that’s a loss and in another way it’s not a bad thing because it’s managed not to be corrupted by late capitalist culture. It is a sort of survival, I think, of something important.
There’s poetry in so many things. I think there’s poetry in film, in song lyrics. My kids are often playing me stuff and showing me stuff and it’s stuff I want to write down and think about because it’s so well written. Prayer’s like that and, you know, song lyrics can become like that. Film, particularly, can be immensely poetic.
Paul and I were talking about this idea that even though poems can get very far, far away from lived experience, it’s somehow really important that buried in it is something that was real, that was part of its ... I’m not expressing this well ... that might be something invisible to the reader, but the writer understands intuitively that is how this crazy thing is earthed, is anchored. I think that’s why a lot of poems manage those simultaneous feelings of being earthed but somehow floating above as well. I know that beloved Swedish poet, Thomas Tranströmer. He’s called the buzzard because his readers have this sensation that there’s this sort of consciousness hovering, which is really beautiful; but at the same time his work is also very much about the earth.
Paul: Lucy, you talked about childhood. Could you speak on the significance of the past on your writing?
Lucy: I suppose I can talk about it in terms of autobiography. In my early twenties I discovered that the lovely sculptor father who had raised me was not my biological father and that my biological father was from—had been born—in Naples and was a Neapolitan, and had other family. So that put me on that narrative of ‘you’re not who you thought you were’ which I suppose has made me interested in trying to see beyond ... that’s one of my interests—in seeing beyond what’s in front of our eyes—because I was raised inside a really loving family for twenty years and accepted this version of reality, but it wasn’t it.
In one sense it was it and in another sense it wasn’t. And when I made that leap and went to Naples and met my family I was suddenly confronted with this completely different sense of the past which was a much longer past than I’d been used to, and a really confounding and confronting past. And that became really imaginatively important for me. And also the sense in which, you know, in Naples, the past is present, is very alive, partly because things in Pompeii were preserved that shouldn’t have been in a way. We see this strange sort of realness of the past.
So I suppose that, and a lot of other things have made me interested in the past as something that’s with us and ahead of us and always around us. Something that we walk in to; something that’s not behind us and something dynamic; something that we’re always kind of revisiting because life’s dynamic. To be alive, to be in a body, is dynamic and things change.
Paul: In Pompeii we actually see the people—the casts of the people that have been vaporised; seeing their body shapes and the shapes of dogs; that’s a weird sort of present.
Lucy: Yes it is. And the fact that they were holes essentially in the ground, and archaeologists drilled down and poured the plaster in and that’s what’s revealed—these amazing shapes. So I’ve worked with the idea of the past, that sort of aesthetic idea of the cast as something paradoxically empty and full, leading back in to that whole investment in what is invisible—how what is usually invisible becomes visible to us. When I did my PhD I became really fascinated by Rossellini’s work as a film-maker, and particularly a movie called Journey to Italy. I have a copy of the most famous still from the film—and this is really the most interesting thing about creative process.
There’s this estranged English couple who come to Naples and they’re just completely overwhelmed by it and he kind of rejects it and she tries to understand it and right at the point of complete rock bottom disillusion they go to Pompeii—which is a kind of earthy, rock bottom place. They see a team of archaeologists uncovering these—presumably lovers—or people who were together in some way at the moment of the crisis and they’re an emptiness. The bodies become a metaphor for what will be the reconciliation of their relationship. But it’s such an important thing for Rossellini because he was a film-maker interested in showing interiority, but because he was a neorealist he had to abandon all the Hollywood ways of doing that, which is the close-up shot, reaction shot, dramatic plot editing. And he did it by revealing negative empty spaces, and this is the final negative empty space that becomes filled up.
Paul: That’s interesting. Would it be possible for you to read a couple of your poems so that you can explore some of the ideas you have mentioned in more detail?
Lucy: I’m going to start with that poem called ‘A letter from Spain’, partly because I want to talk about it being a different way of writing. I moved back to Perth after living in New South Wales for about eight years and I had a really strong sense of a sort of dispersal. A lot of my very dear friends were in other parts of the world, I’d met my Neapolitan family and they were in another part of the world, and I just had to get used to this kind of sense of—I suppose I had a grief and had to come to terms with separation, and I saw writing as a way of bridging that a bit.
I’d had a very long correspondence with a friend of mine from high school who adopted Spain as a country. There is just something so endlessly generous about receiving letters. In this day and age to receive a letter is a lovely thing. Of course he’s now a Facebook addict who doesn’t write letters, which is so weird if you knew him. But I wanted to see if I could put our voices in the one place and somehow merge our experiences. I suppose because, you know, I was missing him and so I actually worked with trying to cut the voice of the letter into something very daily that was happening to me—a walk down a lane that I was always doing.
He’s someone who has always worked with his hands or built stuff or worked in the countryside and he wrote me this long letter about his shepherding life in Spain. I hope this picks up on some of the stuff about edges. This poem was originally called ‘Edges’ and then a poet friend of mine said ‘That’s ridiculous. Don’t call it that,’ so I renamed it ‘A letter from Spain’.
A letter from Spain
For Ernest Tomic
‘try … wildness in a corner. It will bring you much happiness.’ Derek Jarman
When I slip into the lane
there’s another order.
Time grazes, drops its guard.
The backs of things show themselves
the overgrown, the discarded,
the working life of plants.
It’s then I can enter the field
you wrote to me:
the most interesting parts
are the edges … beside me
what looks like wild chamomile,
and also chicory,
the briar rose is flowering.
You lie close to the ghosts
of hedgerows. It’s a calling,
this community you feel
with a lost practice.
You say the campesinos complain
there’s no life in the country anymore
but, foreign shepherd in this place,
with your headscarf and hopeless dogs,
you scout the landscape
for shy traces of the local.
Soon you’ll search out the leaf
that will curdle milk for your supper.
Your flock wanders fallow ground.
Fleas bite, you tune the radio and lay down
more lines of the letter… lots of wild poppies …
You’d know the sound of the wind
through wheat fields. I’d love to tell you
more about it, and about other things here,
how spring’s unfolding.
Our seasons meet, my winter lane
opens to acres of stubble.
We’re both walking, stopping,
hands on our hips, heads to the sky,
listening for rustlings, tending weeds
and working quietly at the edges.
A little bit later on I travelled and I was in England and I became very interested in the sort of connection between creativity and foraging. The idea that the creative act is a sort of forage into a space, or a landscape, or whatever. I just really liked that idea and I’ve kept trying to work around that idea a bit. In a way it’s like trying to find a wild thing; the thing that’s not a commodity; the thing that’s there to hand. I often have a sense, and it goes back to just wanting to start new, to start fresh, and I like the idea of making something out of nothing. My poems are something out of nothing. I know I’ve encountered that in other writers’ ideas about how they work. I also liked very much being able to introduce another voice—or have a collage of voices from the letter.
Paul: There’s also a sensuousness in the writing; the importance of a physical connection within the world.
Lucy: Yes, absolutely.
Paul: You talked about swimming and walking and being in the world, but why this sense of physicality? Why is that so important? You talked about the body. Is that partly it?
Lucy: I suppose I’m always interested in the way that language tries to stand in for the thing. The way you try to sample or recapture parts of the world and one way of doing that is to actually try and create that as a texture. Words and language as a medium can feel very immaterial and one thing that poetry can do—because it’s interested in rhythm and layering and patterning—it can try to reach a sort of a verbal re-creation of experience, or what it is to walk down a lane and look at plants and touch them—or whatever.
So in a way you’re almost talking about a sort of poetics of space, about different spaces. You know lanes are fantastic because you do see the backs of things. They do allow you to see this whole other life that everyone hides. Everyone hides behind the big front door—everything looks perfect and when you walk into a lane ... This lane I walk to, which is a kind of route from my house to a friend’s house, has the most hilarious signs in it. There’s quite a few Italians that live in that area and there’s a terrible small sign in this lane that says Do Not Leave Your Shit or Piss Here! And we always laugh at it and we always walk past it and go ‘Bloody Hell, who’s been doing this?’ And the mother of my friend was walking down this lane and she saw a guy peeing out of—you know the kind of little holes in your gate? So it is a really interesting space—there’s chooks and there’s crap and there’s all sorts of stuff but we all often have a laugh about that sign. It is also lovely. It’s also quite rustic.
Paul: That’s partly the idea—that the poem creates its own space—and the detail in the poem about the leaf that’s going to curdle the milk in a sense gives us a different way of living. It’s a kind of code for a different kind of thinking.
Lucy: Absolutely and these are the kind of things that get lost. Unless younger people go and put themselves in this kind of situation and are prepared to listen to some old Spanish farmers they’re not going to find out about the leaf. This is the kind of little detail—the kind of small story—which is really, really precious and fragile and easily lost. I do like the small story. I very rarely and very reluctantly do commissions. I did one for a community in Northcliffe which is a timber and dairy town in the southwest of Western Australia. The only way I could get into writing about this place was to find small stories; little, tiny stories. And it all seemed—you know, when you don’t come from a place as well, you can be kind of overwhelmed by the big story of that place—the big story that that place imposes on you. For me, I’d much rather work in the marginal sideways way.
Paul: Did ‘A letter from Spain’ come easily to you?
Lucy: It came in a different way in that Ern had written to me and said that he was cold, he was so cold. So I started knitting him a scarf and funnily enough I went to Spotlight, as you do, and I found this Spanish wool, and I thought, this is so weird. It’s come from Spain and now I’m going to knit this scarf ... It started with a knitting analogy but then I abandoned that and it actually became about knitting his letter into my thing. And, naturally, I don’t think I ever finished the scarf—it was a means—it was abandoned. I thought I’ve nailed that right; I don’t need to knit the scarf.
It started out as a poem about Spanish wool really. And you know—I think I had in my head—is it close to the end of Cinema Paradiso where a scarf unravels? It becomes like an umbilical chord. It becomes like this unbroken image between two people—a mother and a son in the case of that film.
Paul: There’s an interesting connection to your poem, ‘The quilt’. Do you want to briefly touch on it? It picks up ideas of stitching. It’s also somebody else’s story. It’s interesting when poems take on somebody else’s story.
Lucy: Yeah. This is one of the only poems—I’ve written a couple of poems that rhyme and I’m not a rhymester—but this poem is one of those I worried at, very worked, you know worked, worked, worked—many drafts. I was reading a book by Mary Ann Caws called Women of Bloomsbury and in it she relates this story about how the visual artist Carrington, who had a very messy, long relationship with Gerald Brenan, who was a writer figure who moved in the circle of the Bloomsbury group. When he finally married someone else she cut up all of her old dresses from the time that he had known her and made a quilt. She cut up the old dresses, all the dresses that Brenan would have known, and she sent it to him as a wedding present.
So Caws asked the question, what was this about? Was it a genuine desire to cover him and keep him warm, or was it spiteful? What was the intention behind it? Was it a way of getting in to their bed and kind of mind-effing them, because she was a pretty unusual person. So it was very strange and I was reading this and I was getting really drowsy and I was falling asleep and just the words ‘dresses caresses, dresses caresses’ were going round in a circle in my head and I fell asleep. Then in the next few days I wrote a poem and it’s got an epigraph, which is part of a letter from Carrington to Gerald Brenan.
You are the only person who notices what I wear—this green
dress, who will see how lovely it is? (Carrington to Gerald Brenan)
She had cut up all her old dresses
and sent a quilt for their wedding bed, so
that each square might yield his spent caresses.
He sleeps with his bride beneath an old embrace,
her scent, her clothes—all the moments he had held
and his dreams are peopled by an awkward grace—
her white legs, green dress, brown hands
trailed in the stream at Watendlath.
At her death he’ll write: nobody understands.
Restless as always, he tosses off the gift, her cover,
and remembers (her words) the big and devastating love
that she held, with and without hope, for another.
When this big love dies she wears his jackets.
If I could sit here alone just holding his clothes…
she sends the residue to friends in packets
they don’t want. Everyone gets a love that’s patched.
Just before sleep he recalls the warmth of her letters
and how in their separate lives, at least, they had matched.
So it’s a little bit back in the territory—I mean it comes in the same time, roughly, as ‘A letter from Spain’. It was an interest in letters and an interest in distance and proximity. How on earth do you go on loving someone when you’re separate from them and when it’s all hopeless. And I suppose I’ve had a long interest in things that are proximate to the body but are not the body. So I have often worked with ideas about things that are close to us but are not us, and how they hold our stories.
Paul: Clothes and ...?
Lucy: Clothes, jewellery, personal effects, letters, you know, things people write in the margins of books. Again, it’s the margin, it’s the thing that you’re close to but it’s not you. And also the sense in which things that are not us hold palpable histories and we tend to put them in a museum and that makes them safe. It cordons them off—but if we don’t put them in a museum and we keep thinking about them and living with them then they have quite a different sort of energy and place, I think, and role in our lives.
Paul: And they speak of this in various ways don’t they? The things that we’ve held, or worn, or …
Lucy: Yeah. I mean if you kept items of your baby’s clothes even when they’re great big lumps, or your grandmother’s hair, or whatever it is—well they’re traces.
Paul: One of the things that I like about this poem is that it’s presenting a story but it’s also opening questions up about the story and not necessarily trying to answer all those questions.
Lucy: I don’t think it could be answered. I think it’s open to interpretation. It’s just a very small story. It’s a tiny thing. It’s not a big thing, but it opens out all sorts of questions and ideas about human relationships and desire and longing … And that kind of sense of noticing, you know, the quote about Brenan being someone that noticed—because she did say that to him when they had many partings, she said ‘I don’t know anyone else who notices stuff like you. Who’s going to tell me when something looks right or wrong’. And I do think that poetry is a noticing. It’s a kind of a form of observation.
There’s a lovely story about Ruth Padel, you know she wrote 52 ways of looking at a poem. Her mother was a scientist and she really didn’t have a clue what her daughter had got herself into in her poetic life and was a bit uncertain about it. After Padel finally dragged her along to a reading her mother said, ‘I see the point of poets now. They notice things’ (Padel 2002: 19). And perhaps that didn’t seem so far away from what scientists do too.
So she then had an analogy, a way of understanding what it was that her daughter had committed herself to as a practice—as a kind of a living thing, a job. Because you know, writing’s a job as well as ... It’s not something wifty wafty and romantic. It’s a hard job, in a way. It’s work.
Berger, J 2002 ‘Opening a gate’, The shape of a pocket, London: Bloomsbury
Carver, R 2009 ‘On writing’ in Fires: essays, poems, stories, London: Vintage Books
DeLillo, D 2002 The body artist, London: Picador
Kohn, R 2010 ‘Bill Viola’s spiritual art’, Bill Viola, interviewed by Rachael Kohn, on The spirit of things, Radio National, 24 October. The audio version, along with a transcript, is at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/spiritofthings/stories/2011/3082952.htm (accessed 23 July 2011)
Padel, R 2002 52 ways of looking at a poem, London: Chatto & Windus