Modewarre: Home Ground
In poems that are as concentrated as pearls, Patricia Sykes explores various histories—her own, those of her forebears, and the wider histories of identity and place. Citing the intersection of three distinct philosophies with particular birds—the indigenous modewarre, the colonial biziura lobata, and the common Wathaurong musk duck—these poems set out on the winding paths of memory and aspiration, searching for answers to the questions What is home? and What is identity? Their context is local and universal, their voices are restless and insistent, their themes are as broad or as narrowly defined as the journey demands. Whether inquiring into the futuristic interventions of intra-uterine surgery, the soft and hard arguments of living outside of the placenta, or into the dispossessions of terrorism, these poems seek to confront and understand the complex meanings of belonging. Two of the included poems have received acclaim: "Modewarre—ways you might approach it" was highly commended in the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize, and "Sanctuary: Swan Lake, Phillip Island" won the Tom Collins Poetry Prize.
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Modewarre ways you might approach it
song of walking
conjuring under the influence
espionage with duck
three years in the flooded paddock
aphorisms bluestone and spectral
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alive Australia Council bird blood boat bones breath breed brid brown lake bunyip bushfire cold dark dead deep delope DETENTION blue heimat doll dream duck's eagles excised islands eyes faith feathers feeding feet ferret in migrant fingers flamingoes flight focal geology galahs Gillian Hanscombe gobb-lin gone grandmother great-aunt narrative hands hard garbage heart Hepzibah human hush-la inside ISBN keep land language legs live loony girl lyric machete migrant trousers Modewarre mouth musk duck namyrna never night trapped Nyangangu Once a Paddock passion Patricia Sykes Phillip Island poems Poetry Prize 2002 praise to whoever preen psal psalm river road rock safe Sandy Jeffs shimmer shining silence sing skin smoke Spinifex Press stillbirth Suniti Namjoshi Susan Hawthorne susurrus Swan Lake swans swimming talk thank thing throat thrum tongue touch tussock unafraid USA—Online visa as pessimist voice warm Wathaurong wind wings Wire Dancing