August 2005

Arts & Letters

Drought essay: Recognising the derision as fear

By Les Murray

Death gets into the suburbs, but sleek

turnover highrise keeps it out of mind

 

and wilderness, wrapped in its own deaths,

scarcely points us at ours,

 

but furred rusty machines, and grey

boards unglazed for heritage or holiday –

 

you can’t truck in enough bricks.

Settled country is the land of the dead,

 

there you are taught love as mourning,

you shop in boarded-up places.

 

It’s great to follow car-dust

out towards the Mistake,

 

way past a working people’s farm,

long widowed, standing in space.

Les Murray

Les Murray is an award-winning Australian poet with more than 30 published collections of work, including Taller When ProneThe Biplane HousesWaiting for the Past and The Best 100 Poems of Les Murray. His work has been translated into ten foreign languages.

Cover: August 2005

August 2005

From the front page

Failing our kids

A decade of debate about school funding, and we’re going backwards

Photo of Liam Gallagher

Don’t look back in anger: Liam and Noel Gallagher

As interest in Oasis resurges, talking to the combative brothers recalls their glory years as ‘dirty chancers, stealing riffs instead of Ford Fiestas’

Image from ‘Atlantics’

Mati Diop’s haunting ‘Atlantics’

The French-Senegalese director channels ancient fables and contemporary nightmares in this ghostly love story

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Diaries (2018–19)

Collected thoughts on writers seeking permission to write, Eurydice Dixon, the Nobel for Murnane and dealing with errant chooks


In This Issue

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Comment

The true daughter

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Sarah has an interview

A dandy comes a cropper

It’s a very Australian thing to glorfy the rich, famous and dead. And yet Rene Rivkin was never really one of us, was he?

More in The Monthly Essays

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Stasiland now

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the author of ‘Stasiland’ reveals the ongoing power of the former East German regime, not just in politics and business but also in shaping perceptions of victimhood in unified Germany

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Peace with dishonour

On the West’s Trump-led exit from the wreckage of the Middle East

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Australia 2.0

The America’s Cup winged keel and the transformation of a nation

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Remember her name

Were systemic racism and unconscious bias among police officers behind the death in custody of Tanya Day?


Read on

Image from ‘Atlantics’

Mati Diop’s haunting ‘Atlantics’

The French-Senegalese director channels ancient fables and contemporary nightmares in this ghostly love story

Image of Nasty Cherry

‘I’m with the Band: Nasty Cherry’

This Netflix series pays lip service to female empowerment in the music industry, but ultimately reinforces its limits

Image from ‘The Crown’

Streaming highlights: November 2019

‘The Crown’, ‘For All Mankind’ and ‘Dickinson’ offer new perspectives on history, and pragmatism meets pyramid schemes in ‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida’

Image of Quarterly Essay 76: Red Flag

What does China want from Australia?

On Australia’s efforts to resist Beijing’s campaign for influence – A Quarterly Essay extract


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