Sunday, April 08, 2012

Lorraine Marwood - Cockatoo: a Portrait

Cockatoo: a Portrait
Lorraine Marwood

colour of yolk
colour of safety
but sulphur-crested
as if top-notch feathers
were brushed
with bee pollen,
a raucous joke
as you chatter, nibble
drop leaves
and screech
without softness
at sunset.

© Lorraine Marwood. All rights reserved.

Lorraine Marwood is the first Australian poet to join in the fun here at 30 Poets/30 Days, and I was extra-happy when she sent a poem with a bit of local color (or, if your prefer, colour). Of course, I'd've been extra-happy regardless, as I love the way her poem appeals to the senses as it paints its portrait. Geography, clearly, doesn't change what works.

Like many poets writing for children today, Lorraine Marwood writes novels in verse, as well as individual poems and collections. Unlike most, however, her novel Star Jumps won the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Award in the children's fiction category! Star Jumps is the story of farm life in tough times told through the eyes of a young girl, and her newest collection of poetry, Notes on the Door, focuses on family and all that families do/experience together. Yes, the poetry's informed by a life in Australia, but just like with the Cockatoo above, the universality of the feelings, the emotions, the sights and sounds crosses borders, and we're all the better for it. I'm extra-happy, indeed, to have encountered Lorraine Marwood's work, and I'm thrilled to have her here today at 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday we had a wonderful, wiggly concrete poem from Liz Brownlee, Sea Star. Tomorrow... Unsung Dog Song by Michael J. Rosen! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Liz Brownlee said...

Beautiful, Lorraine. Warmed me up this morning!

BookChook said...

I love Lorraine's poetry! Look out for her book, A Ute Picnic and other Australian Poems, too. It would make an excellent choice for classrooms wanting to get a flavour of the real Australia. said...

A beautiful poem for Easter!

tanita✿davis said...

A cockatoo is not ever a bird I would think of as particularly beautiful - and yet...

Charles Waters said...

Her imagery is sublime!!!!!

Life's a poem said...

Thanks Liz, Book Chook, Catherine, Tanita and Charles- such a joy to share in 30dyas/30 poets and bring a glimpse of Australia here.

Lorraine M

Amy LV said...

So yolk. This brings a for-me-foreign-bird to life in my mind. Many thanks for this descriptive song! a.

Anonymous said...

I love your line, 'a raucous joke'. It leads beautifully harshly to 'without softness'.

A perfect capture of this magnificent, rowdy bird, Lorraine. The poem IS the cockatoo.

Angela Sunde. said...

Spot on, Lorraine. You have perfectly portrayed the cockatoo who likes to screech and swoop outside my study window. A magnificent poem and bird.