‘Love, death, birth, beauty, evil’ … and flight

Posted on 19 November, 2011


In The Southerly online, Andrew Bourke writes about ‘Poetry with Wings’. His post has me captured, mid flight between looking up one thing and another, firstly because of the beauty of the poetry such as Dennis Haskell’s:

we navigate by our ears

as this horizontal stunted yacht

edges forward inch by drawn-out inch.

Secondly because, while Bourke is rightly celebrating poetry that explores newness – that of flight – the concept is finite. Bourke writes that these poems are ‘a wonderful example of a new breed of poem which has grown up since the Wright Brothers took to the air. When people say there is nothing new for poetry to say – love, death, birth, beauty, evil – all the themes have been exhausted – I point to this, this very modern theme of flight travel’ (Bourke, 2011).

It is, of course, the nature of this blog to wonder how long the pale blue era of flying wherever and wherever we please can last. Bourke’s words, in this case, are essential. They capture a time where flight was possible. They capture it in the poem – a form that endures despite all odds. Perhaps it will be poetry that documents the end of flight as we know it.

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