Erudite Scribe wishes all clients, friends and followers a very happy and creative New Year, in the hope that 2013 will bring opportunities for renewal and transformation into your world, awakening new love in old hearts. As your Erudite Scribe scoured memory for a poet and a poem appropriate to this occasion, Skype interrupted with a contact request from US General Carter F Ham. A few lines of text rapidly exposed the impersonator as one in need of a competent ESL editor. Erudite Scribe wished the new friend a Happy New Year and informed him of the reasons for blocking further contact. It is such encounters that remind us of Robert Frost’s advice in ‘Mending Wall’:
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in and walling out
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Sometimes it is only years later that I realise my own gaffs, and gain sufficient insight to hope that I will be given an opportunity to repair them. Now it is the Australian poet Bronwyn Lea http://www.emsah.uq.edu.au/dr-bronwyn-lea whose work jumped up at me from the chaos of my cerebral archive, just prior the US Army’s call to service. One of my favourite poems is Lea’s ‘These Gifts’, the poem that introduces her second collection The Other Way Out: New Poems (Artamon: Giramondo, 2008). She writes:
these gifts that arrive late season –
an apology you hadn’t dared hope for,
a rush of poems, an impromptu patience
with the world.
Some years ago I responded to a request from M/C Media Culture journal by offering the following review of that book of Bronyn Lea’s: http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3237 I thought that I had read the opening poem, before in her first collection Flight Animals (St Lucia: UQP 2001) http://books.google.com.au/books/about/Flight_Animals.html?id=RKpxjE5C66EC&redir_esc=y. It wasn’t there at all, but in the 2003 addition of The Best Australian Poetry (St Lucia: UQP 2003) that I had previously encountered it. It’s not until today that I realised my error, for which I offer my apology. I hope that rush of poems will follow for me, seeing in 2013 on the Brisbane River, with the Story Bridge ablaze in firewoks, as I watch from the paddlewheeler Kookaburra Queen, and that this
day has charmed you
with emphemera before you can object.