6.02.2009

HE SONG OF THE BUSH

(Under Song.)
BY LOLA RIDGE, THE AUSTRALIAN POET

The Australian Bush, that remarkable land of silence, the domain of the Never- Never/ has been chronicled by prose writers, who have described its weird enchantment. They have spoken eloquently of the great purple distances peopled with the mur^nuring ghosts of the host of dead cborigine, the babel of the forest leaves un- swept by winds, the uncanny stillness that speaks as with a thousand tongues from flitting elfin shadows. Mrs. Ridge, in the "Under Song," gives us a poet's appreciation of the great Australian mystery.—Editor Overland Monthly.

The mystical, the strong
Deep-throated Bush,
Is humming in the hush
Low bars of song:
Far singing in the trees
In tongues unknown—
A reminiscent tone
On minor keys.

Boughs swaying to and fro,
Though no winds pass,
Strange odors in the grass

Where no flowers grow,

Faint fluttering of wings,
And birds' sweet vows,
Once babbled on the boughs

Of faded springs.

The murmur in the air
That ebbs and waves,
Is music from the graves

Of all things fair;

And mingles in the still

Of twilight's hush,
. With voices of the Bush

From swamp and hill.

One seeking through the hush

Of darkness thrown,

May hear it through the lone
Grave halls of dusk,
Low ringing in his ears;

And ponder long

The meaning of the song
He faintlv hears.

Lola Ridge

(Who apparently did not care for the suburbs.)

PREENINGS

I preen myself. . . .

I ...

Always do ...

My ego expanding encompasses . . .

Everything, naturally. . . .

This bird preens himself . . .
It is our only likeness. . . .

Ah, God, I want a Ghetto

And a Freud and an alley and some Immigrants

calling names . . . God, you know How awful it is. ... Here are trees and birds and clouds And picturesquely neat children across the way

on the grass Not doing anything Improper . . .

(Poor little fools, I mustn't blame them for that Perhaps they never

Knew How. . . .)

Der Querschnitt, 4 (November 1924).
This issue contained "Part Two of the Soul of Spain with McAlmon and Bird the Publishers" and "The Lady Poets With Foot Notes," both of which were included in Cohn's galley proof for Four Poems. In satirical imitation of T.S. Eliot, Hemingway provided elaborate footnotes giving clues to identify "the Lady Poets." According to Hemingway scholar Michael Reynolds, these ladies were:
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Aline Kilmer
Sara Teasdale
Zoe Akins
Lola Ridge
Amy Lowell

No comments: