InReview InReview

Support independent journalism

Books & Poetry

Poem: Message to Les

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Annette Hunt-Bown pays tribute to the ‘Bard of Bunyah’, ‘the poet of the rural poor’ – Australia’s internationally acclaimed unofficial poet laureate Les Murray.

Print article

Message to Les

Les Murray, 1938–2019

I count syllables on each line,
write all the numbers down.
I use your framework as foundation –
to bring forth a poem.

Not born one like you, though wish to be –
I dream you my mentor,
joined in excavating poetry;
but it’s too late to ask. For

you have finished making poems now,
a lifetime’s work has come to pass.
I lived every breath and notion felt deeply,
each word and phrase you nurtured with grace.

You painted portraits and landscape
for our minds to vision,
breaking-free impressions,
you dug up the dry bone –

all this time you’ve let me in,
by taking my daily offering from the corner post.

I feel I know you through your spirit;
Thank you for your poems.

Annette Hunt-Bown was born in Adelaide’s Elizabeth and lives in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. Music, dance, art and poetry have been her lifelong interests and involvements. In 2015, she was a finalist in the 2015 Lismore Regional Gallery Hurford Hardwood/Northern Rivers Portrait Prize, while her poem today pays tribute to the leading Australian poet Les Murray.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.


Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Books & Poetry stories

Loading next article