ISBN 978-1-74011-048-8
234x153mm, 128 pages
RRP $25.00 + P&H

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Poetry for People

Shirley Goodbar

Life is, indeed, a kaleidoscope. Each day Fate twists the tube and we never know what pattern will fall; we cannot guess the colours or shapes that will form our experiences as we move through each day.

For most of my adult life I’ve been recording those colours and shapes in poetic form. Black has not been absent. It has appeared often enough to make me fully appreciate the rainbows that surround it.

I began writing in primary school at the command of teachers—the dreaded essay. “But what will we write about?” was the collective anguished cry. The answer never varied: Write about what you know. Even today, in writing classes and co-operative writing groups the answer is the same: ‘write about what you know’. So, that’s what I do.

Everything is fair game to a compulsive writer: people, places, objects, scenery, events, experiences—even thoughts, opinions and imaginings. The first poem in this volume was written in 1953, the last few some sixty years later.

Every poem in this collection is a response to a person, a scene, or an event. As a child I was given freedom to explore, question, experience, and reason in response to the way my life unfolded. My only boundaries have been the Principles and Ethics my parents inculcated. Hence the eccentric views some of my poems may suggest. I am grateful to my parents for their trust—and my freedom.

Over the years I’ve attended many writing groups. Most of them were affiliated with the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW). Through those groups I was introduced to myriad different styles and forms of poetry. I’ve tried them all and had success with some. I do not subscribe to the narrow view that poetry must have traditional metres and end rhymes or it isn’t poetry. Those forms are great fun to write and to read, but the English language has a marvellous rhythm of its own that can, and should, be exploited.

Nature is dear to me in all its forms. I like being around small children; they help me not to forget the magic of being alive. Many of the poems were written for the ‘little girl’ inside me—she loves fairies!