by Susan Hampton
When I think about you
I get that surge to the brain and bones
my hair remembers its origins
calendars deal out time more slowly
I like walking around at twilight
so I can concentrate
the sun reminds me
and the changing light, of you.
I see how everything passes —
day to night, death to opening stalks
and what can I say more
but that light passing over me shines from
my idea of you, the rose-coloured glasses
you watched me so carefully making.
from "White Dog Sonnets"
here of some others from a later book, with accompanying texts. This site also lists her books, and her several literary prizes.
Always interested in promoting the work of other Australian poets, she and Kate Llewellyn edited the important anthology, The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets in 1986 (still available from Amazon).
She has also authored short stories, and, as you can read in more detail in the bios I've linked to, she has been a teacher of writing and literature at various universities. She now lives in Canberra and works as a freelance editor.
I find that I don't know what more to say about Susan, although we were great friends in the old days and remember each other affectionately. Perhaps that is because, while being very much her own woman, and a strongly individual one, she is also one who cares little for fame. She does, however, care about art and the making of it.
I particularly love her book White Dog Sonnets from which the above poem is taken. The whole book may be read at Australian Poetry Library. (They are modern sonnets, variants from the traditional form.)
Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).