This is the cover of our high school poetry text. It was edited by John Palmer and published by William Brooks & Co. This particular copy was decorated and annotated by my good self, age 17 or thereabouts and is a survivor of the odd book cull over the years.
With its paste-on characters, doodles, glossy pages, worn corners and a broken spine, it’s showing its age, but still provides pleasure in the gleaning.
For readers who are not familiar with any Australian poetry, today’s offering is from the late Judith Wright, poet, environmentalist and Aboriginal land rights activist.
The poem is The Company of Lovers. The scribbles are my high school notes. A clean copy is provided below for easier reading.
THE COMPANY OF LOVERS
We meet and part now over all the world,
We, the lost company,
take hands together in the night, forget
the night in our brief happiness, silently.
We who sought many things, throw all away
for this one thing, one only,
remembering that in the narrow grave
we shall be lonely.
Death marshals up his armies round us now,
Their footsteps crowd too near.
Lock your warm hand above the chilling heart
and for a time I live without my fear.
Grope in the night to find me and embrace,
for the dark preludes of the drum begin,
and round us, round the company of lovers,
Death draws his cordons in.