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John Tranter’s 2012 Tapa Notebook Page

page 009

[ Right: pale green and white New Zealand stamp, denomination 4 pence (?) Jamboree / Scouts 1966, says the border ] Then I read ‘After / Hölderlin’, a poem loosely based on the / German Romantic poet / Friederich Hölderlin’s 1799 poem / “When I Was a Boy” — ‘Da Ich / ein Knabe war’. You can find that / poem in my 2006 collection / Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and / Selected. [ Left: coloured photo of morning tea at Old Government House, titled 2012-03-29-morning-tea-01.jpg ] Then I read a poem — / loosely an Onegin sonnet — / that employed a rhyme / for ‘winkle-pickers’ that / I had been looking to / use for two decades. For those not / knowledgeable in the field of domes- / tic grasses, ‘couch’ is pronounced

The Onegin Sonnet: ‘The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover’ follows the rhyme scheme and (roughly) the metrical scheme of Pushkin’s ‘Onegin’ sonnet form, of which Wikipedia says is ‘the verse form popularized (or invented) by the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin through his novel in verse Eugene Onegin. The work was mostly written in verses of iambic tetrameter with the rhyme scheme a B a B c c D D e F F e G G, where the lowercase letters represent feminine endings (i.e., with an additional unstressed syllable) and the uppercase representing masculine endings (i.e. stressed on the final syllable).’ The supposition that J. Edgar Hoover was secretly a cross-dresser or was gay (or both) has a weird aptness, but it is probably untrue. Line 9: couch and fescue] two varieties of lawn grass. Couch is pronounced ‘cooch’. First published in The Australian, February 2012. Published in The Battersea Review, London, ed. Ben Mazer, July 2013. Published on The Best American Poetry blog at http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/. Published in the chapbook Ten Sonnets, Vagabond Press, Sydney and Tokyo, September 2013.

Links: Cover: Cover Front Inner, Cover: Cover Front,
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 Cover: Cover Rear Inner, Cover: Cover Rear.

These are scans of pages of a Tapa Notebook, filled out by Australian poet John Tranter for the University of Auckland Library. It recounts his experiences in Auckland in March 2012 at the University’s symposium ‘Short Takes on Long Poems’. John has published an internet journal with similar material. This Notebook has the advantage of handwriting, doodles, decoupage and lots of colourful New Zealand stamps. Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all the material on this site is copyright © and the individual authors 2012 to 2016 et seq. It is made available here without charge for personal study and enjoyment by individuals only. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose.


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