Les Murray


In his collection Living in a Calm Country, published in 1975, Peter Porter has a poem which I propose to read to you today as the basis of my talk. This poem would have been written sometime in 1974, and interestingly, at about the same time, I was writing a poem on a similar theme, and containing the same key concept, that of the Boeotian strain in Australian culture. What occurred was a sort of coincidental and unwitting literary conversation between Peter and myself. This is a surprisingly common phenomenon; things that are in the air are frequently picked up by more than one mind at around the same time.



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