Bush Poetry on The Swan

Venue Crystal Swan

End Date 12 Feb 2020

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🐐

Not just entertained, but enthralled and delighted. Didn’t expect this. Really only went along because a mate had an extra ticket. But it was just great. Three completely different people performing. It started with a woman (Christine??), who identified as an ex teacher, doing Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson then some of her own poems. One of them was about her husband always complaining about her handbag, but finding out what it was like when she didn’t have it. Hilarious!

Then an old guy with a walking stick, Arthur someone, who it turned out was a REALLY old guy, aged 101 (I’m not kidding) who was just fantastic. Did great renditions of some great Banjo Paterson poems including the Man from Snowy River, which, fair dinkum goes forever! Finished up with a few poems he’d written himself. Makes me wonder whether getting old isn’t something to actually look forward to.

The last guy was from Kalgoorlie who brought such colour and action to his poems. Started with the Geebung Polo Club and you really thought you were right there, in that crazy polo game or later, watching the ghosts of the polo players and riding like a terrified madman to the pub to get away from them. He also did the most touching poem by a catholic priest about a soldier’s horse, which was never ridden again after he was killed in the war. It takes a bit to get me teared up, but he managed it. And he finished with this awesome poem written in Coolgardie 100-odd years ago, about a woman with a past and a great thirst.

To borrow a phrase from Molly Meldrum, do yourselves a favour. It’s on again next week with different poets. And the following week too, I think. I’ll see you there!

Reviewed by Jack Walsh 2020

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