J. S Harry 1939-2015


Jann Harry, a one-of-a-kind Australian poet who never had the profile she deserved in the wider public, died on 20th May. A brilliant, witty, iconoclastic thinker, Harry was revered by her fellow poets but too idiosyncratic, perhaps, for general popularity. One of her most memorable creations is Peter Lepus, the philosophical rabbit, follower of Wittgenstein and Russell, who travels the world observing the great events of our time, such as the Gulf War. Here’s an early poem  that seems appropriate on this occasion:

as stones go into water

as grass goes into ground

the words containing stones and grass

go into you            

                             and sink            

                           are gone

and round or green

as pebble or blade

the words in you go rolling on

a changing ground            

      and you move on

as round or green

as the stones and grass

beneath your feet

as stones fall into water

as grass grows out of ground

the words containing stones and grass

grow out of you

and you are gone

from If…And the Moveable Ground, Wagtail 29, Picaro Press February 2004. You can read more about Harry in this tribute from Nicolette Stasko: http://southerlyjournal.com.au/2015/05/28/vale-js-harry/

Image:  http://pixabay.com/en/grass-stone-grasses-reed-plant-66600/


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