ARTS AND CULTURE

Section: ARTS AND CULTURE

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The power of poetry in the age of Twitter

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 18 May 2017
    13 Comments

    Does poetry still matter in our Twitter society? Such was the question that caught my eye during a random Google session. The answers consisted of some lugubrious comments to the effect that poetry, like the novel, is dying. It is hard to believe that poets were once considered celebrities, and that poetry was once a pre-eminent form of entertainment. We also generally refrain from mentioning poetry and politics in the same breath. 'Twas not always thus.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Weighing evil in the wake of nuns' war terror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 May 2017
    2 Comments

    'Faith is 24 hours of doubt and one minute of hope,' says one of the nuns at a 1945 Polish convent. Soon Red Cross doctor and avowed atheist Mathilde learns the details of the predicament: of the terror wrought at the convent by Russian soldiers at the end of the war. Over the coming weeks, she oversees the health of those who fell pregnant during the intrusion. Gradually she wins their trust and, in the process, has her mind opened to a brand of faith that, in such circumstances, can be anything but blind.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sweat shop sheet

    • Linda Stevenson
    • 14 May 2017
    3 Comments

    The hem is good to touch, has a firm stitch. I wonder ... who pressed it flat, by whose hand was the white cotton thread sent bobbing, in what factory did my semi-slave breathe, labour? Was it here, a sweatshop in our own suburbs, or a distant forced camp? What lamps burned through hard-pressed nights of work? The sheet's material is light, a white cotton, beckons rest for me. Except, I still think over it ... who dyed, sewed, folded, packed? Who went to their bed dog-tired, with blood-sore fingers?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clues so far to the magic in reality

    • Darby Hudson
    • 07 May 2017
    4 Comments

    Repeat your name over and over and it doesn't make sense. Being able to hear your name across a noisy crowded room. Being able to see things in the dark by not looking at them directly. Walking down an old path brings back a conversation you had in exactly the same location years ago. Your handwriting looks exactly like your father's. Revisiting a childhood park destroys the memory and paves over it with the newer, boring adult memory. When you chase something you can't have it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hardline on soft drink

    • Isabella Fels
    • 01 May 2017
    8 Comments

    In my late 20s when I became seriously unwell and diagnosed with schizophrenia, Coca-Cola was like an ever flowing fountain of happiness for me. How I loved sipping it. I would even quickly down it with my meds. I could feel life getting better and speeding up. Having Coke was magic. But lately, with all the publicity surrounding the dangers of drinking fizzy, sugary soft drinks, I am trying to cut down. It is not easy trying to fight an almost lifelong addiction.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Who was that luckless politician?

    • Geoff Page
    • 30 April 2017
    3 Comments

    Who was that luckless politician, federal, I think, gone now from so many memories, including mine? Male, a sort of suited fledgling, older maybe than he looked, the guy who feelingly achieved, while reaching for the aphoristic wisdom of his people, the verbal train-wreck we remember so much better than than the 'issue' or his features as they pleaded with the swooping of a lens: I'm torn between two places and a hard rock?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Poems for Anzac Day

    • Jena Woodhouse and Ian C. Smith
    • 23 April 2017
    2 Comments

    Now, the forces of annihilation once again cohere, as if this were a valve in history's cardiac arrhythmia that faltered and unleashed a haemorrhage of horror, trauma, fear. The damask roses bloom unharvested in devastated fields. Their perfume cannot mask the stench that permeates the air, the atmosphere of dread, of mute despair. But when the juggernaut of war is redeployed elsewhere, the fragrant fields will come into their own, if there are hands to care.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ghosts of grief in modern, secular Paris

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 April 2017
    1 Comment

    Cynical about the prospect of any kind of afterlife, Maureen nonetheless spends time holed up in an old Parisian mansion, trying to commune with the spirit of her dead twin brother. She is employed by a difficult and demanding fashion model as a personal shopper; literally, she spends her paid working days buying clothes, shoes and jewellery for someone else. The juxtaposition of the pure materialistic focus of this work, and her doubt-riven incursions into the spiritual realm, is intriguing.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Poems for John Clarke

    • Peter Gebhardt
    • 17 April 2017
    4 Comments

    It's a bleak sad day, That special voice has been taken away That voice that saw so much, Waged war against the witless and their wrongs, That smothered our lives and hopes And that voice will still sing his songs. Which we are free to hear for ages on.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning to love not needing men

    • Isabella Fels
    • 10 April 2017
    9 Comments

    In the sorry past when it came to men I could hardly say amen. I had really been messed up, not blessed, by them. I'm well over 40 now and no man has ever gone down on bended knee. I was always being put to the test. Not just in looks but in the superwoman contest. I tried to be everything to them and more, yet failed miserably as I was shown the door time and time again. Nothing worked no matter how hard I worked. But lately, I have changed my way of thinking.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This intimate proximity

    • Peter Evans and Brian Doyle
    • 09 April 2017
    8 Comments

    Yes, you did follow him into the palace courtyard. You had boldly vowed to follow him to the end. Now you are there. They are torturing him within as you sit with the guards without, outside in that damned courtyard and wait by the dying fire. 'What am I doing here?' you ask yourself, uneasy and lonely in the dark glow. 'But at least I am here.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Letters from dystopia in these best and worst of times

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 April 2017
    6 Comments

    Small wonder there is a particular surge of interest in dystopian novels: many people feel times have never been so troubled or so complicated, although I remember my father pointing out that people felt the same when the longbow and later gunpowder were invented. Amazon recently reported that Orwell and Huxley are selling like hot cakes. This at a time when certain purveyors of doom are lamenting the fact that 26 per cent of Americans, for example, did not read a single book during 2016.

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