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A Momentary Stay by William C. Clarke

By William C. Clarke

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Example text

While a Fellow at the Institute of Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, he edited collections of poetry written by Pacific Islanders and helped facilitate their publication. Although agreeing with Auden that, generally speaking, poetry ‘makes nothing happen’, he has written papers on poetry as commentary on contemporary social and economic issues in the Pacific Islands.

A Momentary Stay 37 ‘Poor land may be rich country’ — Aldo Leopold, ‘Country’, A Sand County Almanac, 1949 Poor land may be rich country, opulent with hints of life, a haiku instant when a snake’s skin glimmers, spans of weather, history’s palimpsest, whispering casuarinas casting plays of shade upon a boulder-shouldered shore, a place, momentarily a peace. Country tests us for aesthetic competence: is it grand and scenic or hides its spare exterior a cache of riches, to perceive which takes long living in and with, a witnessing?

Nausea] Does it have to do with noise a racket desirable, a pugnacious din? I can’t work out what it’s all about, a thump, a bump, a bump, a thump, screech from beat to beat across the heap of transported adoration, tear-stained youthful cheeks. Singers bawl into phallic tubes shafting sound across the crowd, gyrate and moan, a copulatory connection, I guess de gustibus non disputandum est a thump, a bump, a bump, a thump. A Momentary Stay 33 In the World Like leaves indifferently falling the documents proliferate, the reports amass, adhering into sedimented piles, a repetitive clutter stocking the warehouse of bureaucratic merchandise.

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