A letter to my father

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  • Published 20080603
  • ISBN: 9780733322815
  • Extent: 272 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

DEAR NEVILLE,

I know you weren’t that keen on poetry – apart from Henry Lawson’s ‘Faces in the Street’– but here’s a short poem I wrote a couple of years ago. I’d been looking at the black and white snap that shows us standing at your grave, huddled there in the winter light out on the flats near the Altona petro-chemical complex. It was a big mob of unionists and peace workers, but you can’t see the Congress for International Cooperation and Disarmament’s Sam Goldbloom, who gave the oration from the centre of the pack. I haven’t read this poem to any of your mates, living or dead, but I’ll type it again for you now. It’s the first poem in my new book, Necessity, which has an epigraph from a great Californian poet, George Oppen, a leftist, a modernist who worked on the docks in San Francisco. The book, which has a lot of you in it, is worth getting for Oppen’s lines alone:

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