I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

25 September 2010

The Names of the Island

When I grew up there,
it was known as The Apple Isle.
My grandfather had acres of orchards.

I don’t know what
the First People called it.
I don’t think anyone ever asked them.

Abel Janszoon Tasman,
Dutch explorer, found it in 1642.
He gave it the name Van Diemen’s Land.

Renamed Tasmania,
it became a British colony —
the cruellest one to convicts and Aborigines.

It was much later
that my grandparents came.
In time my brother and I were born in Tassie.

I left at 15, but I visit.
If you ask where I come from,
I use the joke name (a proud name): Taswegia.

30 Poems in 30 days, 2010: 14
Prompt: A poem about a person or place that has several different names.

No comments:

Post a Comment