Poem of the week
The first bomb
by Brian Vrepont (1941)
At the burst of the first sky-bomb
On the city, the god leapt out of me
Screaming with impotence;
Afterwards, dumb and warmly dead,
He stood in the new ruins gazing at a head,
A head, a head, a spring-time head.
I reminded him we had not dined;
Obediently he came back into his cage,
And I dined and wined in a safe place―
In a safe, safe place.
The meal was not a success,
The food too succulently tender,
The wine a million reds too red,
I felt his cold indifference
To else except the door―
The door, the unclosable door...
Peter Austen (1892-1939)
Soldier poet who converted to Islam
Peter Austen is perhaps the most interesting of the Queensland poets of the First World War. He was born Rudolf Augstein, in South Brisbane in 1892. Like many Australians of Germanic descent, he enrolled in the Australian army shortly after the outbreak of war.
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