The Fence

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Dennis N O'Brien

The Fence

Post by Dennis N O'Brien » Tue May 08, 2012 7:34 pm

The Fence

I built the fence on a cold grey hill
With bar and shovel and axe and maul
And quite a measure of toil and will
For I needed a paddock to clear and till,
So I dug the holes by the bloodwoods tall
And I felled the ones that grew on the line
And cut them into a handy length
That would serve the purpose of my design
For each a link in the fence’s spine
And each would add to the fence its strength.

Each post I barked and I sapped and stood
In a line as straight as a rifle shot,
And the sap ran red from the honest wood
Of the native gum that was sound and good
And with age would harden and never rot.
Then the wire I strung, and I strained it tight,
And each post I fixed to the jagged wire,
So my fence was finished by fall of night
When my gaze was drawn to a distant light
And I turned for the warmth of home and fire.

© Dennis N. O'Brien, 2012

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: The Fence

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Tue May 08, 2012 7:42 pm

Great poem, and interesting rhyming pattern, Dennis. I'm glad you spared us the details of digging the post holes. What a tedious job that is!
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

r.magnay
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Re: The Fence

Post by r.magnay » Tue May 08, 2012 8:49 pm

Yeah good one Dennis....put your hat back on and take the tie off..... ;)
Ross

Dennis N O'Brien

Re: The Fence

Post by Dennis N O'Brien » Tue May 08, 2012 9:49 pm

Thanks Stephen - yes I vary rhyming patterns a bit.

Ross, Don't tell me bush poets can't wear ties now, I'm pretty sure Banjo and
Henry wore them. ;)
Photos of me are rare as I am usually the one on the wrong end of the camera.
When someone does take one of me it's usually overexposed due to the light
reflecting off my slightly thinning head of hair. :(
Anyway I was at a wedding the other day (hence the tie) and some genius managed to take
a reasonable one of me and sent it to me so you'll just have to put up with it. :)

Neville Briggs
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Re: The Fence

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed May 09, 2012 8:49 am

That's pretty good Dennis.

Do I detect a bit of Ted Harrington influence ? ;) :)
Maybe not, no offence please, I'm just guessing.
Neville
" Prose is description, poetry is presence " Les Murray.

Dennis N O'Brien

Re: The Fence

Post by Dennis N O'Brien » Wed May 09, 2012 9:57 am

That's right Marty, I shaved my head to look like Ted Harrington ;)

Seriously though Neville I'll have to demonstrate my ignorance poetry wise
by admitting I've never heard of Ted Harrington :o but thanks for the tip
I will now look him up and see what he is (or was :?: ) all about.

r.magnay
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Re: The Fence

Post by r.magnay » Wed May 09, 2012 10:54 am

...bush poets can wear what they like mate, why Neville even has a man bag I believe.... :roll: you just looked more on my level with a hat and workers rather than the stepping out togs..... :) however, I can go with the flow.
Ross

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Re: The Fence

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed May 09, 2012 1:04 pm

Man bags are highly admired accessories Ross. ;)


Dennis, you'll find a biography of Edward Harrington on Poemhunter.com. There's a photo of him sporting plenty of hair.
The sound of your poem sort of reminded me of his well known bush poem There's Only Two of Us Here.

In any case, this discussion reminds me that I think using classic poems as examples for style and sound is a very good way of developing poetry skills. It has been a standard practice ( and I think still is ) for art students to attend major galleries and copy works by the masters. I don't see why writers can't use the same sort of process applied to writings.

(I'm not accusing you of wrongfully pinching something, I hope you know what I mean ? )
Neville
" Prose is description, poetry is presence " Les Murray.

Terry
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Re: The Fence

Post by Terry » Wed May 09, 2012 5:11 pm

G/day Dennis
Well written

I've never owned a man bag, I usually have a wallet that's almost falling to pieces.
My wife, out of embarrassment of me hauling it out in public (I think) bought me a new one
for my birthday. Still like the old one best though!

Cheers Terry

Dennis N O'Brien

Re: The Fence

Post by Dennis N O'Brien » Wed May 09, 2012 7:20 pm

Thanks Terry and that's okay Neville, I didn't think you were accusing me of
"pinching" a poem I've never read from a poet I've never heard of. :)

There may be an explanation Neville,
I see on Wikipedia (my usual source of unreliable information)
that the said Ted's mother was Margaret O'Brien so maybe it's something to do with genetics. ;)

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