John Leonard

David Prater Interviews John Leonard

In December 2007 Canberra-based poet John Leonard wrapped up his innings as poetry editor of Overland, the Melbourne-based journal whose motto is Temper democratic, bias Australian.

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My House

My house is out of square, The ground-plan laughable, Walls leaning, ceilings drooping. Tradesmen swear at not finding Right angles-but it's easy To make repairs, a touch of paint (Of a different colour) covers up New work, making everything As …

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The End of Prophecy

We have to understand that we are not The chosen ones whose word Transforms the world by magic. Our ways are not those that can Bring the heavens down to earth, That resounding angelic choir. If we have applied ourselves …

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Among the Poets

Orioles still sing, and the leaves fall – Li Bo is stepping from a boat. Edward Thomas tends to brood, but Ho Xuan Hong has done with that. Emily Dickinson leaves punctuation, society, Alone; what are they – to love? …

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They Do Their Best

They do their best–not wanting To show an ungrateful face, Not wanting to step out of line, To show difference They do their best–crowding out The shops, being up with the latest This or that, the most pressing of Consumer …


Man with a Newspaper

It's a metropolitan weekend paper, As thick as a doormat, in several sections. He spreads the front page out on his lap With a satisfied look–he's going to enjoy this. But about half way down the trouble starts– His brow …


Jacques Derivative: Interrogating ‘John Leonard’

First we must say something about the history of the inscription, “John Leonard”. Australian poetry, that world which is small enough that we can indeed say “world” and not “worlds” when placing it under discussion, is occupied, allegedly, by two …

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