Friday, 23 September 2011

Poet Of The Week: William Kerr


William ’Bill’ Kerr was born in South Africa in 1922, although he is most closely associated with his adopted country of Australia, specifically the town in which he spent his formative years, Wagga Wagga. Kerr only wrote one poem, but, stone me, it was a good ‘un. Presented to the East Cheam Cultural Progressive Society on a balmy evening in 1959, it was entitled ‘Incandescence’:
Hick, hack, hock,
Rinky tinky on purple grass,
Shafts of light, hob-nail boots,
Tramping down the bamboo,
That grows upwards, downwards, sideways,
Into the Concrete Cosmos,
Life is mauve,
I am orange,
Hick, hack, hock.
‘Incandescence’ was rapturously received and subsequently re-titled ‘The Last Poem’ to reflect the finality of its brilliance. Kerr seemed to agree that his nine inspired lines provided a full stop to twentieth century poetry, and never felt the need to write again. He was last seen fighting a giant, angry pig in the Australian outback.   

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