Thursday, December 08, 2011

A sneeze in a redhaired nostril

Continuing on with my interest in odd words, or the odd combinations of ordinary words, I'm looking briefly today at trailer hitches before I go on to look at some of the ways Les Murray uses words in a poem called Flowering Eucalypt in Autumn. 
Here are some of the single words and combinations of trailer hitching words: multi-fit receiver hitches,  goosenecks, pintles, receiver mount combination ball, switch balls, folding ball gooseneck hitch, (or even better) underbed folding ball gooseneck hitch, universal fifth wheel base rails, adjustable eyes and enforcement collars.   The mind boggles - even more at a weld-on pocket anchor.   Just think of welding an anchor into your pocket, and you see what I mean.  There's ample material here for a poem, I think!

So onto a real poem.   In Murray's poem he's doing what he often does, piling metaphor upon metaphor to try and show the enormity of a small or ordinary-seeming thing (as he does with some humour in Shower, one of my favourite poems.)

In this poem, the crimson blossoms are dropping to the ground:
....a napped rug
of eyelash drift, of blooms flared
like a sneeze in a redhaired nostril. 

minute urns, pinch-sized rockets
knocked down by....
....the daily
parrot gang with green pocketknife wings. 

....each flower comes 
as a spray in its own turned vase,
a taut starburst, honeyed model 
of the tree's fragrance crisping in your head. 

a tower of fabulous swish tatters,
a map hoisted upright, a crusted
riverbed with up-country show towns.

Quoting bits like this doesn't do justice to the poem, so it's worth reading it as a whole.   Nevertheless, a sneeze in a redhaired nostril certainly lingers in the mind....!

I mentioned the other day about the copyright issues relating to copying poems into blogs and onto the Net.  It doesn't seem to be that big an issue, since any Les Murray poem I've gone looking for in order to provide a link to the full poem has been readily available online.   Perhaps the Net is the best thing to happen to poetry in all that art's history....?

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