Anthems, ‘ranthems’, and otherwise loves: nationalism in Australian poetry

Dorothea MacKellar’s My Country, with its paen to a sunburnt landscape, excoriated Australians for their nostalgic love of English ‘grey-blue’ countryside and English weather. Mark Wassell/flickr, CC BY-NC

A young woman of 23, Dorothea MacKellar (1885-1968), had a poem published in the London Spectator in 1908, titled Core of My Heart. She was the daughter of a wealthy pastoral family, educated privately, a graduate of the University of Sydney. She is said to have written the first draft of the poem in 1905 in response to the breaking of a prolonged drought on the family cattle and tobacco farming property, Torryburn, near Maitland in NSW. The poem was also written in protest against the anti-Australianism of many Australians at that time, excoriating them for their nostalgic love of English “grey-blue” landscapes and English weather.

Dorothea Mackellar.
Wikimedia commons

Later, she re-titled the poem My Country and its second stanza remains the best known most quoted stanza of poetry in Australia, beginning with that belligerent, youthful and anthemic cry of “I love a sunburnt country”. She declared she could not share a love of “coppice”, “field”, “ordered woods” or “soft dim skies” because “My love is otherwise”.

She was in effect working to create not only pride at being here in such a raw and dramatic and vast place, but to make a new vernacular against the prissiness of English idioms of paradise. She even declared, defiantly, a love for the “stark white ring-barked forest” so common to Australia’s landscapes. We have forgotten how much of a rant this anthemic poem was in its time. It was a poem openly turning truisms on their head, giving a new generation its new native voice.

And of course, the poem exaggerated its argument, and opened itself to ongoing arguments over what it might mean to be in Australia, to be Australian, to find an identity in triumphant harmony with this place.

Kevin Gilbert (1933-1993), born on the banks of the Lachlan (Kalara) River at Condobolin, the youngest of eight children, found himself on the receiving end of, as he put it, “White Australia’s apartheid system”. In hospitals, Kevin Gilbert and his people were confined to verandahs and given blankets with “Abo” stamped on them. In his New True Anthem, he found his own moment of protest in the undiminished arguments over nationalism:

Despite what Dorothea has said
about the sun scorched land
you’ve never really loved her
nor sought to make her grand
you pollute all the rivers
and litter every road
Your barbaric graffiti
cut scars where tall trees grow
the beaches and the mountains
are covered with your shame
injustice rules supremely
despite your claims to fame
the mud polluted rivers
are fenced off from the gaze
of travellers and the thirsty
for foreign hooves to graze
a tyranny now rules your soul
to your own image blind
a callousness and uncouth ways
now hallmarks of your kind
Australia oh Australia
you could stand proud and free
we weep in bitter anguish
at your hate and tyranny
the scarred black bodies writhing
humanity locked in chains
land theft and racial murder …

It’s not so much MacKellar he had in his sights, for she was a fellow poet of protest, and a fellow poet in love with the land, but it was the profiteers, the racist systems, polluters and exploiters of every kind he wanted to expose. How that word “grand” has been mis-used and degraded, how far we are from being “proud and free”. No punches are pulled in this anti-anthem, and all the necessary questions are asked. Kevin Gilbert’s poem participates in the tradition of the corrective poem of insult, adopting the anthem as an anti-starting point.

Anti-anthems

Alec Hope (1907-2000) similarly used the moment of Australia’s commitment of troops to the Second World War to write his famous poem, Australia, allowing himself to speak over the top of Dorothea MacKellar to paint Australia as “drab green and desolate grey”.

Her rivers of water drown among inland sands,
The river of her immense stupidity
Floods her monotonous tribes from Cairns to Perth.
In them at last the ultimate men arrive
Whose boast is not: ‘we live’ but ‘we survive’.
A type who will inhabit the dying earth.
And her five cities like five teeming sores,
Each drains her: a vast parasite robber-state
Where second-hand Europeans pullulate
Timidly on the edge of alien shores.

There is nothing in Australia to celebrate and very little to admire in European modernism. Our only hope (Hope?), he ends gloomily, from a place we might call “love-hate”, is to remember that from such deserts as we have in abundance, prophets do come.


And now, the new voices of new poets come to this troubled tradition and make a claim to a voice, a language, an imagery that might wake us up to who we are and where we might be going. Omar Musa, raised as a Muslim, whose heritage is Irish-Malaysian, inspired by his poet father and the example of Muhammed Ali, is more famous as a novelist, a rapper, a slam performer and a You Tube sensation than as a poet to be read in a slim volume of verse.

His new book, Millefiori, is a solid and powerful and sometimes heartfelt incursion into poetry publishing, a book quickly read, but one that needs to be lived with and read over a number of times if the inner voice is to come through and the imagery work on its reader.

The longest poem in the book is Ranthem, an anti-anthemic poem in the tradition of Dorothea MacKellar’s and Alec Hope’s outspoken, youthful defiance and Kevin Gilbert’s hard won anger:

The people tell me love it or leave it. Fuck that.
How about love-hate it and stay? I’ll carry the flame.
They try to disqualify everything that I say
Cos I’m a big brown brother with an Arabic name.
They call me ungrateful and unpatriotic.
Sheeeeit! That attitude is straight idiotic.
If loving your country means wanting change for the better
That means criticizing the ugly
Side of society ASAP.

We need this kind of poetry to be published, to be happening, to be out there provoking us and projecting images of ourselves that might push us, in Musa’s phrases, to be “nuanced, shift the lens, be brave and consider again”. There might be more accomplished poets, more worthy commentators, but it’s clear that this one’s got a voice that says a lot of what needs to be said just now, and we’re interested.


Musa comes to his poems as both himself and, like Hope and MacKellar and Gilbert, as a voice made by a generation:

But do I have the right to commentate at all?
A middle-class Aussie man, that’s a lot of gall.
Cos this isn’t about me, so maybe adding my voice
Is just making the debate more cloudy …
but part of me feels it’s way worse if I don’t say shit.

You can’t help but admire the ways he catches phrases and phrasing, but you listen too to what he’s saying, hearing the reframing of the whole country going on inside those Ranthems.

The Conversation

Kevin Brophy does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Editors’ Picks: The Five Biggest Surprises Of SIHH 2018

Montblanc chrono 03.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

We spent the better part of last week at SIHH in Geneva, Switzerland. The Richemont-focused trade show featured new releases from the likes of Cartier to Montblanc, from Panerai to Hermes, and from Lange to Piaget. We covered the show extensively and after a few days of recovery we are giving you our end-of-show round-ups. Here are the watches that most surprised at SIHH 2018.

Cara Barrett – Ressence Type 2 e-Crown

Not to sound jaded, but once you’ve seen and handled over say, thousands of watches in your life you tend to get a bit jaded. Another flying tourbillon? Yawn. A perpetual calendar? Yawn again. When I first heard about the Ressence Type 2 e-Crown Concept I thought to myself, okay this is something new and different, but nothing less than I would expect from resident disruptors Ressence. But the moment when this watch truly surprised me was when I saw it in the metal. It is a fully mechanical watch with the ability to be set manually or by an app. When you put the watch down and let the power reserve run out and put it back on your wrist, you simply tap it and it sets to the current time. Tap it again and it goes to the second time zone. As explained by Tony Fadell (who co-designed this watch along with other notable objects such as the iPod), it essentially has a watch winder inside the movement allowing it to remain powered up even when it has been stationary for a while. I don’t necessarily think that watches should (or will) move in this direction, but it’s inevitable that there will be some technological advancements and who better to kick things off the Ressence and Tony Fadell?

This is a concept watch so is a non-commercial item; ressencewatches.com

Jack Forster – Urwerk AMC

The most unexpected introduction I saw at SIHH this year was definitely the Urwerk AMC (Atomic Master Clock). We know that Urwerk is interested in exploring unusual chronometric solutions – their EMC (Electro Mechanical Control) watch is one example; it’s a mechanical watch that uses an optical sensor to show the rate, and which also allows the user to adjust the rate if needed. The AMC uses an atomic clock to regulate a wristwatch via mechanical linkages – a super-high-tech, but also high mech, modern take on the Breguet Sympathiques.

Pricing TBD; urwerk.com

Jon Bues – Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 38mm

I never thought I’d see a 38mm Panerai wristwatch. But here we are. As I said when I went hands-on with this watch from SIHH, there is no company that rode the oversized trend of the aughts more famously than Panerai. Until very recently the Swiss watchmaker with Italian roots seemed to be deeply committed to an average case size in the 44mm range even at a time when consumer tastes called for more discreetly sized wristwear. I think it’s safe to say that Panerai expects to sell the vast majority of these watches to women, but if the comments left in that aforementioned Hands-On post are any indication, they should expect plenty of interest from guys as well.

$6,000 in stainless steel and $15,300 in rose gold (not pictured); panerai.com

Stephen Pulvirent – F.P. Journe Monopoussoir Rattrapante

Lately, I’ve been a time-only watch kind of guy. The simpler and subtler, the better. So, if you’d told me before SIHH that the watch I’d get most excited about in Geneva would be 44mm in diameter, have a platinum case with a matching platinum bracelet, feature a bright violet dial, and be not just a chronograph but a monopusher rattrapante chronograph with a big date for good measure, I’d have asked what you were smoking. But, here we are, and here is the new F.P. Journe Monopoussoir Rattrapante. Everything about this watch is enticing, from the offbeat styling to the insane movement inside to how it wears on the wrist (incredibly for something of its size). If you have a chance to see this one in the metal, do it – you won’t regret it.

CHF 58,000 in titanium, CHF 78,000 in red gold, and CHF 106,000 in platinum (approximately $60,284, $81,072, and $110,170 respectively at time of publishing); fpjourne.com

Ben Clymer – Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph

So my choice is a little different than my colleagues’ – because I selected a watch that surprised me not by its existence, but by how much I liked it. A two-register, vintage-style pump pusher chronograph is hardly novel, and if looking at Montblanc, this makes a lot of sense. But for me, it’s typically the big boy chronographs from Montblanc that get me going – you know, the hand-wound, super expensive stuff like this. And that stuff is great, and arguably represents tremendous value versus the likes of a Patek, Vacheron, or Lange. But this year, the 1858 collection showed that you can have some vintage fun without breaking the bank. And of the lot, this chrono is my pick because of its oversized register and pump pushers. I’m not the biggest fan of the cathedral style hands, but overall, this watch really surprised me by just feeling and looking damn good on the wrist. Did I mention it uses an in-house chronograph? Tough to argue with, really, and not at all what I was expecting to fall for at the SIHH.

€3,990 in stainless steel, €4,690 in bronze (approximately $4,890 and $5,760 at the time of publishing); montblanc.com

You can read all of our SIHH 2018 coverage here in our complete guide to all the new releases

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Editors’ Picks: The Five Biggest Surprises Of SIHH 2018

Montblanc chrono 03.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

We spent the better part of last week at SIHH in Geneva, Switzerland. The Richemont-focused trade show featured new releases from the likes of Cartier to Montblanc, from Panerai to Hermes, and from Lange to Piaget. We covered the show extensively and after a few days of recovery we are giving you our end-of-show round-ups. Here are the watches that most surprised at SIHH 2018.

Cara Barrett – Ressence Type 2 e-Crown

Not to sound jaded, but once you’ve seen and handled over say, thousands of watches in your life you tend to get a bit jaded. Another flying tourbillon? Yawn. A perpetual calendar? Yawn again. When I first heard about the Ressence Type 2 e-Crown Concept I thought to myself, okay this is something new and different, but nothing less than I would expect from resident disruptors Ressence. But the moment when this watch truly surprised me was when I saw it in the metal. It is a fully mechanical watch with the ability to be set manually or by an app. When you put the watch down and let the power reserve run out and put it back on your wrist, you simply tap it and it sets to the current time. Tap it again and it goes to the second time zone. As explained by Tony Fadell (who co-designed this watch along with other notable objects such as the iPod), it essentially has a watch winder inside the movement allowing it to remain powered up even when it has been stationary for a while. I don’t necessarily think that watches should (or will) move in this direction, but it’s inevitable that there will be some technological advancements and who better to kick things off the Ressence and Tony Fadell?

This is a concept watch so is a non-commercial item; ressencewatches.com

Jack Forster – Urwerk AMC

The most unexpected introduction I saw at SIHH this year was definitely the Urwerk AMC (Atomic Master Clock). We know that Urwerk is interested in exploring unusual chronometric solutions – their EMC (Electro Mechanical Control) watch is one example; it’s a mechanical watch that uses an optical sensor to show the rate, and which also allows the user to adjust the rate if needed. The AMC uses an atomic clock to regulate a wristwatch via mechanical linkages – a super-high-tech, but also high mech, modern take on the Breguet Sympathiques.

Pricing TBD; urwerk.com

Jon Bues – Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 38mm

I never thought I’d see a 38mm Panerai wristwatch. But here we are. As I said when I went hands-on with this watch from SIHH, there is no company that rode the oversized trend of the aughts more famously than Panerai. Until very recently the Swiss watchmaker with Italian roots seemed to be deeply committed to an average case size in the 44mm range even at a time when consumer tastes called for more discreetly sized wristwear. I think it’s safe to say that Panerai expects to sell the vast majority of these watches to women, but if the comments left in that aforementioned Hands-On post are any indication, they should expect plenty of interest from guys as well.

$6,000 in stainless steel and $15,300 in rose gold (not pictured); panerai.com

Stephen Pulvirent – F.P. Journe Monopoussoir Rattrapante

Lately, I’ve been a time-only watch kind of guy. The simpler and subtler, the better. So, if you’d told me before SIHH that the watch I’d get most excited about in Geneva would be 44mm in diameter, have a platinum case with a matching platinum bracelet, feature a bright violet dial, and be not just a chronograph but a monopusher rattrapante chronograph with a big date for good measure, I’d have asked what you were smoking. But, here we are, and here is the new F.P. Journe Monopoussoir Rattrapante. Everything about this watch is enticing, from the offbeat styling to the insane movement inside to how it wears on the wrist (incredibly for something of its size). If you have a chance to see this one in the metal, do it – you won’t regret it.

CHF 58,000 in titanium, CHF 78,000 in red gold, and CHF 106,000 in platinum (approximately $60,284, $81,072, and $110,170 respectively at time of publishing); fpjourne.com

Ben Clymer – Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph

So my choice is a little different than my colleagues’ – because I selected a watch that surprised me not by its existence, but by how much I liked it. A two-register, vintage-style pump pusher chronograph is hardly novel, and if looking at Montblanc, this makes a lot of sense. But for me, it’s typically the big boy chronographs from Montblanc that get me going – you know, the hand-wound, super expensive stuff like this. And that stuff is great, and arguably represents tremendous value versus the likes of a Patek, Vacheron, or Lange. But this year, the 1858 collection showed that you can have some vintage fun without breaking the bank. And of the lot, this chrono is my pick because of its oversized register and pump pushers. I’m not the biggest fan of the cathedral style hands, but overall, this watch really surprised me by just feeling and looking damn good on the wrist. Did I mention it uses an in-house chronograph? Tough to argue with, really, and not at all what I was expecting to fall for at the SIHH.

€3,990 in stainless steel, €4,690 in bronze (approximately $4,890 and $5,760 at the time of publishing); montblanc.com

You can read all of our SIHH 2018 coverage here in our complete guide to all the new releases

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Introducing: The IWC Tribute To Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’

Hero.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

Quick Take

Watchmaking in Switzerland takes place largely in the Francophone regions of the Jura and Geneva, but IWC’s presence in German-speaking Schaffhausen seems to have infused it with Germanic horological values – especially solidity and reliability. The pocket watch tradition at IWC was a strong one, and with this new pocket watch – a very faithful, though not exact, version of the traditional Pallweber pocket watches from the late 1800s – IWC returns to pocket watch production once again.

Why This Watch Matters

The Pallweber is one of the most distinctive pocket watches that IWC made – in fact it’s one of the company’s most distinctive watches ever, and for the 2018 SIHH, the company announced it would be returning this jumping hours and minutes complication to production. The wristwatch model was announced just before the SIHH, but the pocket watch wasn’t unveiled until the opening of the show. In looks and feel, it’s a classic piece of Swiss-German horology: an engraved but not overly ornate gold case, a movement that’s well finished and constructed, but not given the jewel-like treatment more characteristic of French-Swiss watchmaking, and an overall sense of weighty physical and horological presence.

Initial Thoughts

For some more recent IWC enthusiasts this will be a somewhat difficult watch to understand, but if you’re a long-time fan, you’re probably going to be thrilled to see IWC get back into the pocket watch business. It’s a small-scale but significant start and one that marks IWC’s reconnecting to its roots after many years of innovation in terms of design, complications, and also its role in the larger horological universe. It was a very satisfying moment for me to hold this in my hands. I’ve always felt that it’s important for a watch company – especially one with a real heritage, like IWC – to make it possible to own a physical manifestation of that history. This isn’t to say you should take it to unrealistic extremes – I would be the last person to suggest that Vacheron Constantin should get back into the cylinder escapement business – but a high-grade pocket watch with an interesting complication from IWC is definitely reason to cheer.

The Basics

Brand: IWC
Model: Pallweber Pocket Watch Tribute To Pallweber Edition "150 Years"
Reference Number: 505101

Diameter: 52mm
Thickness: 14.2mm
Case Material: 18k red gold
Dial Color: white lacquer
Indexes: printed display disks
Lume: none
Water Resistance: 1 bar
Strap/Bracelet: none; 18k red gold chain

The Movement

Caliber: IWC manufacture, caliber 94200
Functions: jumping hours and minutes
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Winding: manual
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Jewels: 54
Additional Details: the Pallweber variant of the 94000 family, which is the base for many high complications from IWC which require extra energy, including the Portugieser Sidérale Scafusia.

Pricing & Availability

Price: Not yet announced
Availability: TBD
Limited Edition: yes; 50 pieces worldwide.

For more click here.

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9h Capsule Hotel Launches New Sauna Hotel

9h is stylish and futuristic take on Japan’s capsule hotels. Featuring tiny pods large enough for just 1 person to sleep, 9h has proven popular and has since grown to 6 different locations since launching in 2010. Now, they’re hoping to reach an even broader clientele by adding a sister brand ℃ (pronounced do-she) that […]

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9h Capsule Hotel Launches New Sauna Hotel

9h is stylish and futuristic take on Japan’s capsule hotels. Featuring tiny pods large enough for just 1 person to sleep, 9h has proven popular and has since grown to 6 different locations since launching in 2010. Now, they’re hoping to reach an even broader clientele by adding a sister brand ℃ (pronounced do-she) that […]

Source: http://ift.tt/zlrR8Y

New Plant-Based Embroidery and Interconnected Baskets by Ana Teresa Barboza

Peruvian artist Ana Teresa Barboza has previously been drawn to recreating full landscapes with yarn and thread, embroidering large tapestries with rivers, valleys, and waves that spill out from the wall and rest on the floor. Barboza continues her exploration of installation-based tapestry with a new body of work that charts the growth of individual plants, while also expanding her practice into weaving with a new work of interconnected baskets.

Her series Increase charts a plant’s shadow for 15 days, steadily tracing its growth and movement over the two week time space. Balls of yarn lay at the foot of each tapestry, providing a visualization of the diminishing material as it is slowly added to the changing portrait. The colorful embroidery provides a charged glow around the white space of the original plant, its increasing mass illustrated in a collage of jagged shapes and vibrant hues.

Barboza’s new work United Baskets, retreats from color altogether, instead focusing on process and shape. The piece is a collection of seven interconnected baskets, which took the artist 30 days to weave from bundles of Huacho reed. The series of vessels vary in size and position, yet are each seamlessly linked throughout the full 10 by 10 foot composition.

Although Barboza now works with textiles, she previously studied painting at Lima’s Pontifical Catholic University. You can see more of her embroidered and woven installations on her website here.

Source: http://ift.tt/odnItH

New Plant-Based Embroidery and Interconnected Baskets by Ana Teresa Barboza

Peruvian artist Ana Teresa Barboza has previously been drawn to recreating full landscapes with yarn and thread, embroidering large tapestries with rivers, valleys, and waves that spill out from the wall and rest on the floor. Barboza continues her exploration of installation-based tapestry with a new body of work that charts the growth of individual plants, while also expanding her practice into weaving with a new work of interconnected baskets.

Her series Increase charts a plant’s shadow for 15 days, steadily tracing its growth and movement over the two week time space. Balls of yarn lay at the foot of each tapestry, providing a visualization of the diminishing material as it is slowly added to the changing portrait. The colorful embroidery provides a charged glow around the white space of the original plant, its increasing mass illustrated in a collage of jagged shapes and vibrant hues.

Barboza’s new work United Baskets, retreats from color altogether, instead focusing on process and shape. The piece is a collection of seven interconnected baskets, which took the artist 30 days to weave from bundles of Huacho reed. The series of vessels vary in size and position, yet are each seamlessly linked throughout the full 10 by 10 foot composition.

Although Barboza now works with textiles, she previously studied painting at Lima’s Pontifical Catholic University. You can see more of her embroidered and woven installations on her website here.

Source: http://ift.tt/odnItH

New Plant-Based Embroidery and Interconnected Baskets by Ana Teresa Barboza

Peruvian artist Ana Teresa Barboza has previously been drawn to recreating full landscapes with yarn and thread, embroidering large tapestries with rivers, valleys, and waves that spill out from the wall and rest on the floor. Barboza continues her exploration of installation-based tapestry with a new body of work that charts the growth of individual plants, while also expanding her practice into weaving with a new work of interconnected baskets.

Her series Increase charts a plant’s shadow for 15 days, steadily tracing its growth and movement over the two week time space. Balls of yarn lay at the foot of each tapestry, providing a visualization of the diminishing material as it is slowly added to the changing portrait. The colorful embroidery provides a charged glow around the white space of the original plant, its increasing mass illustrated in a collage of jagged shapes and vibrant hues.

Barboza’s new work United Baskets, retreats from color altogether, instead focusing on process and shape. The piece is a collection of seven interconnected baskets, which took the artist 30 days to weave from bundles of Huacho reed. The series of vessels vary in size and position, yet are each seamlessly linked throughout the full 10 by 10 foot composition.

Although Barboza now works with textiles, she previously studied painting at Lima’s Pontifical Catholic University. You can see more of her embroidered and woven installations on her website here.

Source: http://ift.tt/odnItH