LITERARY recognition is not always predictable — as in the case of the late Michael Dransfield when in 1968 he bombarded The Australian poetry Editor Rodney Hall with much work.

He then wrote to Hall asking him why he chose not to publish his poems. Hall of course in the typical mindset of all “Gatekeeper” literary traditionalists, would generally only publish “Recognized” Australian poets, irrespective of the intrinsic artistic value and originality.

Of course generally these young poets are broke, and how the hell do they achieve due recognition, if the editors don’t stop reading the author’s name before reading the work.

Michael visited Tasmania in May 1967 hitchhiking down the East Coast and staying in a Hostel at Bellerive before hitching to the West Coast where in his book, The Streets Of The Long Voyage he wrote the poem Minstrel,  which has the lines:

The road unravels as I go,

Waking into the sun, the anaemic

Sun that lights Van Diemens land

And

A drink at valley river coming down

Out of Mount Ossa; climb back to the road,

Start walking, a song to warm these lips

White bitten with cold.

In the hedges live tiny birds

Who sing in bright colours you would not hear

In your fast vehicles. They sing for minstrels

And the sheep. The wires sing too,with the wind;

Also the leaves, it is not lonely.

Michael Dransfield wrote four books of poetry which are all out of print:  Streets of the Long Voyage: Inspector of the Tides: Drug Poems: Memoirs of a Velvet Urinal  Since his death in 1973, two books have been published: The second month of Spring  and Voyage into Solitude.

I was first made aware of this poet when his name came up in conversation with one of our finest living poets, Anthony Lawrence.

Judge me by how I write; That’s how we should view all our writers and poets, not by any other criteria.
 

Neville Rodman

Judge me by how I write; That’s how we should view all our writers and poets, not by any other criteria.