A Poem is a Useless Thing. A Poem by Ian Irvine (Hobson)


A poem is a fragile thing
  like a life — so ephemeral, so moved
by the random laws of the cosmos
  the elements, gravity ...

A poem is a useless thing,
  like a wasted life — all 
its meaning in the living, the rending, the
  interpreting. Begins and ends
with the blinkers of the observer.

A poem is but a small fragment
  of a larger thing, obscured in the making
(like tonight’s mountain moon)
  by clouds and drizzle.

Writing a poem may seem pointless
  Who will read it? Who will understand it?
It disperses to the elements
  even in the writing
  even in the sounding

We do it regardless —
a gesture in search of a purpose.

Ian Irvine Photo

Ian Irvine is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, fiction writer and non-fiction writer:
His work has featured in many Australian and international publications, including Fire (UK) ‘Anthology of 20th Century and Contemporary Poets,’ (2008) which contained the work of poets from over 60 nations. His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies, and he is the author of three books and co-editor of many more (including Scintillae 2012, an anthology of work by over 50 Victorian and international writers and poets). He currently teaches writing and literature at Bendigo TAFE and Victoria University (Melbourne) and lives with fellow writer Sue King-Smith and their children on a 5 acre block near Bendigo, Australia.
Links related to his work are as follows:
Poetry Life & Times


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