6 poems in FreeXpresSion

 In News, Poems, Publications


Six of Andrew’s poems have been published in the October 2015 issue of FreeXpresSion magazine. The poems have been reprinted from Andrew’s books, Gestures of Love: The Fatherhood Poems (Wombat Books, 2013) and Inadvertent Things: Poems in traditional Japanese forms (Walleah Press, 2013).

The six poems are: “The Tanka of the Imperial Courts”, “Gunned Down”, “Spent”, “Poem about Freedom”, “Radiance”, “Measure”.

“The Tanka of the Imperial Courts” (one of the poems from Gestures of Love) is a love poem for the poet’s wife, Susan. An earlier version of this poem was published in Andrew’s book Waking and Always (Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1987). Andrew rewrote “The Tanka of the Imperial Courts” for the second edition of Waking and Always, published by Picaro Press (Warners Bay, NSW) in 2008. Whereas the original poem was written in free verse, the revised poem is written in four tanka-stanzas, which is to say, each stanza is structured like a tanka, with 31 syllables arranged in lines of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 syllables. While the integrity of the original poem has been preserved, it has been refined and intensified by this revising and restructuring. The new version of the poem, most recently published in FreeXpresSion, is reprinted below:


The Tanka of the Imperial Courts


The ancient tanka

of Japan are quite imbued

with love and longing.

And reading them at tea break

filled me with yearning for you.


Through the weariness

of the day’s working I thought

of my years with you,

the many swift flowing years

of our courtship and marriage.


Remember, my love,

after our first lovemaking,

the swallows winging

about us as we swam down

the slow dark river at dusk?


In celebration

of our honeymoon—hundreds

of welcome swallows

skimming the water, kissing

their reflection as they drank!

                    © Andrew Lansdown

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