In Clued - Ed
Resources School Change Writing and Design Workshops Photography Blog Apps Contact

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14    15    16    17


Issue No.13 - Embracing the Mystery

Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.
Josef Albers


  Echoes of Buddy Holly

Killing by Exams
Where testing fails

Songs of Depth
Voices most varied

What Recipes Tell
Talk turnip talk

Installations That Speak
Capturing the elusive

What the Mirror Means
Reflecting on reflections

There Before Fame
Innocent capture

The Changing of a Place
The coming of the roads

Bringing Sunlight Inside
The writings of Kathryn Lomer

Nonsense and knowledge meet

Hands Reaching
What that hand means

The Literalist Image
Figuring speech

The Biby
Folklores’ distant voice

Maths Poem
Numbers and feelings

Framing with a Car
Windows on the subcontinent

Acknowledging the Reader
I know who you are

The End and the Beginning
Returning to ruins

Welcome to edition # 13 of The Creative Teaching Space.

The teaching year is drawing to a close, here in Australia, and so this time of the year sees teachers finalizing reports, sorting out next year’s curriculum and meeting the demands of somewhat tiring students.

The time is also one leading to reflection; reflection on the teaching year as well as possibilities for 2005. So, I hope that this edition of my magazine supports teachers in preparation for next year. Also, I hope that teachers take the opportunity to look at previous editions. Many ideas can be found in back issues and who knows what possibilities can evolve.

As the year (2004) closes I am given the increased opportunity to reflect on what I have experienced during the course of the year. I am currently writing a unit of work, and teacher workshop, on transdisciplinary learning for the Tasmanian Education Department. I am exploring how transdisiplinary learning differs from integrated learning.

Similarly I continue to explore areas such as new forms of assessment, conceptual learning and project work. Many advances have been taking place in Tasmania in the implementation of its "Essential Learnings" curriculum and it has been very interesting sharing ideas, learning from others, as well as exploring new ways of teaching.

During the last week I have written a short outline on the history of western curriculum (I am no scholar) and it has been interesting to see how curriculum has changed over the years. It has also been interesting to see how much of traditional education has remained anchored to the traditional "five windows of the soul" model of subjects proposed in the United States in the mid 1890s.

I am certainly becoming more aware of how curriculum is simply a construct, and how education must encourage in-depth questioning as well as the ability for students to move through and across disciplines. True learning, I believe, is motivated by deep interest and the need to find answers and new possibilities. The best schools focus, I believe, on learning rather than ‘what is taught.’ Just because a school offers a range of subjects, and exams on those subjects, doesn’t mean that deep learning is taking place. The most interesting learning often takes place in the moment, during the journey, and is as individualistic as the person who is experiencing it.

As I have emphasized on a number of occasions – an idea well stated by Guy Claxton – we only know half of what there is to know about the riches of learning. Don’t be fooled into believing that ‘learning’ can be ultimately captured. I find the mystery of learning very interesting and love the fact that so much of what I learn is unpredicted.

As Van Morrison so eloquently sings on his album Poetic Champions Compose:

Let go into the mystery
Let yourself go
There is no other place to be.

(The Mystery)

To close off have a look at this fascinating image. Here reality takes on a mysterious face. The photo, Man standing behind tank of glowing liquid, is very much like the imagery of artists like Chris Van Allsburg.

Perhaps students can explore the mysterious photographs of Olivier Mériel. What imagined stories underpin these images? The photo entitled Interieur de Eglise, Conches is a fascinating image! The work of Alexey Titarenko is also ghostly and obscure. I love abstraction in photography. Michael Kenna’s photography is also delightful. I love the mystery that can be found in the supposed ‘realist’ medium of photography.

Killing by Exams

The British poet Brian Patten is most famous for his involvement in the Merseyside or Liverpool poetry movement of the 1960’s. Besides being an acclaimed children’s writer Brian Patten has written very beautiful and revealing poetry.

The poem The Minister for Exams shows great insight into education.

Do we ever stop to consider how narrow and destructive testing can be? Are we really measuring learning or just providing an administrative framework for moving people from place to place, from category to category?

Brian Patten’s book Armada is a profound collection of poems. The poem Armada equally deserves to be read and needs no qualification by me.

Songs of Depth

In the liner note to his much under-recognised album of covers called World Gone Wrong Bob Dylan states:

LONE PILGRIM is from an old Doc Watson record. what attracts me to the song is how the lunacy of trying to fool the self is set aside at some given point. salvation & the needs of mankind are prominent & hegemony takes a breathing spell. "my soul flew to mansions on high" what's essentially true is virtual reality. technology to wipe out truth is now available. not everybody can afford it but it's available. when the cost comes down look out! there won’t be songs like these anymore. factually there aren't any now.

I have always found the statement "there won’t be songs like these anymore" quite intriguing. One only has to listen to old recordings of blues and folk songs and one discovers depths rarely touched in contemporary music. One discovers songs written from multiple perspectives, from e.g. beyond the grave, in varied tones and in subtleties that are highly realistic and/or metaphoric. One discovers a variety of poetic styles. Songs become a journey into worlds that are rich and multifarious. In many cases songs broach topics and issues that modern songwriting wouldn’t dare.

A few short paragraphs here do not do justice to a complex, deep and ongoing tradition. In the future I intend to dip more into the scholarship of blues and folk songwriting – writers and researchers such as Alan Lomax and Paul Oliver are well recognized. Digital archives such as Mudcat are a good starting point. One could start by listening to online examples of Lucille Bogan or watching tremendous documentaries such as Desperate Man Blues, In Search of Robert Johnson or Crumb. The following site, Hoodoo Blues, raises interesting ideas about blues culture. And here Robert Crumb has his personal say – I presume that this is authentic.

The song, If You See Kay popularised by Memphis Slim, was one of the first examples that I came across of a song that has a double meaning . Think phonetically!

If You See Kay

This story 's true. Folks, once there was a girl in my life and her name was Kay. You spell it K A Y. Kay was a very beautiful girl, a wonderful person, and she was built up like a Coca-Cola bottle. And I know Kay loved me but being a traveling man I got missed from my Kay somehow. So when I goes back to Kay's hometown I was unable to find her. So since I described her, I want to ask each and everyone underneath the sound of my voice, if you see a girl like this, please tell her Memphis Slim is trying to contact her.

If you see Kay, tell her I say hurry home
If you see Kay, please tell her I say hurry home
Tell Kay I ain't had no lovin since my little girl been gone

But you know something, a man can’t go around forever looking for a particular girl. Maybe something happened to the girl. She could be dead. Or something terrible happened to her, maybe she got married.

So long, I guess I'll be on my way
So long, people I guess I'll be on my way
But be sure to contact Memphis Slim, people, If you see Kay.

What Recipes Tell

Recipes can tell us a lot about a culture. One only has to look at old cook books, and their pictures, to gain an insight into a culture – its attitudes towards women, attitudes towards food, aesthetics, etc.

Recipes speak to us about the socio-economics of a culture e.g. the use of meat products such as tripe during wartime, and how cuisine is influenced by factors such as migration.

One can also play with recipes. The following website The Unbearable Sadness of Vegetables is a creative response to old magazines. Students could look at old magazines, including recipes, as a form of cultural analysis. Other students could play with the designs and reinterpret texts by adding commentary. Billy Collins has written a beautiful poem about old magazines: Victoria’s Secret.

This site also includes reference to Ghost ads. This is a fascinating area. Explore the use of posters and how multiple bill posting becomes strangely artistic. What interesting design accidents can you find in city streets?

Richard Misrach has artistically captured this interesting reference to Ray Charles. Perhaps artists like Rosenquist and others, loosely categorized as the pop movement, were well ahead of their time in recognizing how our culture offers us multiple imagery. Of course this ability to work with multiple images is expanded even further today by access to digital capture and digital manipulation.

Installations That Speak

The following art installation, Listening Post, by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin, collects text from chat room discussions on the Internet and converts the text into spoken form. Words are rebroadcast and rearranged. The installation takes on a poetic form. Artistry combines with the modern practice of the Internet to comment on our society as well as reveal new forms of artistic expression.

It is interesting to note how technology can extend the possibilities of artworks. How can students, from varying disciplines, work together to produce engaging art installations?

The power of e.g. internet networks has enabled found things to be collated and built into a magazine and website.

Note how found objects can take on new meanings. I have found, in second hand books, a 1950’s postcard from a famous Melbourne restaurant, Pellegrini’s, and a doctor’s note on how to insert a suppository. I must admit I thought twice about handling this second book.

What can students find? How can they present this information?

What the Mirror Means

Vermeer Music Lesson (detail) c. 1662-1665

I am thinking of the mirror and what it could mean. A reflection of how the world sees us? A reflection of how we want the world to see us? A reminder of oneself in shops, bathrooms and on unexpected occasions. Something that breaks. A bringer of bad luck. Mirrors surrounded by images: postcards, stickers, notes and condiments supporting our looks: soap, shavers, make-up, etc.

What were the first mirrors? Still ponds? Why were mirrors constructed? How are they made? Why do so many mirrors appear in paintings?

Watch carefully: a young girl is going to step through a mirror. The mirror reflects a mirror and a new sense of space is achieved. Look how that mirror allowed the cameraman to achieve a special effect. Step in and out of view – watch how your shape changes in this house of mirrors.

That mirror is showing a world of reflections: the now reversed yet corrected ambulance sign in a rear vision mirror. You are watching the children in the back seat, trusting the mirror with its truth as you make that turn. But look one’s image is really in reverse. Look how our eyes meet our eyes as we look into the mirror. Why?

She has taken all the mirrors from her house. He has placed a huge mirror on the wall to create a sense of space. Watch the lift open – notice how she is preening herself in the lift’s mirror. She has been noticed. Embarrassment. He is posing before the mirror, muscles growing? He looks closely. He is too fat. The mirror is telling him a story he doesn’t want to hear. Is the mirror telling him a fiction of his own creation?

We reflect. We think. How come the word ‘reflection’ shares a meaning with thought and with a mirror?

I have entered the land of no mirrors. In another land they have chosen to ban mirrors. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small mirror handing it to the tribesman. As the sun increases its warmth he shifts the mirror in his hand hoping to attract the attention of the nearby plane.

How many cultural references can be found? Webster’s online.

There Before Fame

A young Mother Teresa

I saw an image recently, a snapshot from 1955, of a group of people crowded around Elvis Presley. In the back of the frame is a young yet-to-be-discovered Buddy Holly.

In this large crowd at Munich 1914 one can see a young Hitler. It is many years before he becomes infamous.

What do people look like before they become famous? What do they look like after? What strange power do pre-fame images hold for us? As if we can read the future in an image, or just the fact that that person, at that stage, was just like you and me? Is that a look of innocence? Is that a look of cunning, passion, focus?

Look how the collectors barter for these images, how the photographers sell them online, how specialists look towards the photos to find clues. The biographer looks through early photographs for an insight into why he became that way. The photograph locates him at a particular time and place. He has no idea of what is about to come. Look at the school photo and see how inconsequential he is. Other faces are brighter and more alluring. He is so indistinct, no sign of the intensity that is later to emerge.

The Changing of a Place

Paris Street, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, 1839.

How do places change? Rarely do we have the opportunity to see how a landscape has changed overtime. This is left to the imagination of illustrators such as Jeannie Baker – or this excellent series by the illustrator Robert Crumb: The History of America. Students could draw how a landscape has changed, write about its changes, imagine what was here before: this land was once sea, this sea was once ice, this place was once volcanic.

How does time write its passages on a landscape? How do people experience the changing of landscape e.g. the flooding/damming of regions in India or China? How do people feel as they get older? My secondary school was once a bustling suburban school, it is now a new housing estate with little sign of its past.

What gets destroyed? What is desecrated? What is built in its place?

Coming of the Roads

Billy Edd Wheeler

Now that our mountain is growing with people hungry for wealth
How come it's you that's a-going
and I'm left all alone by myself?
We used to hunt the cool caverns deep in our forest of green
Then came the road and the tavern and you found a new love it seems

Once I had you and the wildwood, now it's just dusty roads
And I can't help but blamin' your going
On the coming, the coming of the roads

Look how they've cut all to pieces our ancient redwood and oak
And the hillsides are stained with the greases
That burned up the heavens with smoke

You used to curse the bold crewmen
who stripped our earth of its ore
Now you've changed and you've gone over to them
And you've learned to love what you hated before

Once I thanked God for my treasure, now like rust it corrodes
And I can't help but blamin' your goin'
On the coming, the coming of the roads.

Once I thanked God for my treasure, now like rust it corrodes
And I can't help but blamin' your goin'
On the coming, the coming of the roads.

And I can't help but blamin' your goin'
On the coming, the coming of the roads.

Bringing Sunlight Inside

Kathryn Lomer is a novelist, poet and short story writer living in Hobart, Tasmania. Kathryn has produced a range of work in recent years including a novel The God in the Ink, a poetry collection Extraction of Arrows, film scripts, short stories and a recent young adult’s novel The Spare Room, exploring the journeys of a Japanese exchange student between his and Tasmanian/Australian culture.

Kathryn has won a number of awards and examples of her work can be read on the web including her short story, Class of 73, My Brother Jack Short Story Award Winner 2004, extracts from her poetry collection and at least one poem that delicately interprets and explores a painted work.

Students may also like to consider exploring cross cultural misunderstandings. The famous Australian text They’re a Weird Mob is echoed by Kathryn in her young adult text The Spare Room. Like Nino Culotta in They’re a Weird Mob, Akira – in this extract – struggles with Australian cuisine and mannerisms:

I handed my money to a woman at the checkout. She smiled as she gave me some change.

There you go, love, she said.

Thank you, I said, feeling confused by the word ‘love.’ I dropped the coins and they rolled across the parquetry floor. I’m sure I looked pretty silly to all the other students as I darted here and there after the coins, which had of course rolled in different directions. Charging after the last one, which was still rolling, I ran headlong into another student.

Sorry, I said.

Hello, he said.

Hello, I said.

You don’t remember me? He said.

I looked at him. Yes, I said.

He smiled.

I mean, yes I don’t remember you, I said.

Ah, he said. From the bar, he said. I was the waiter. You know.

With this, he assumed a very erect stance and raised one arm as if balancing a tray of drinks. He danced a little circle around me. When he stopped in front of me, he continued, Cascade beer. Beer. Bill.

Ah yes, I said, I remember. Problem is everyone look the same.

There was a pause as he took in this comment. He looked at me closely then broke into a grin.

Very good, he said. You’re learning fast.

Thank you. That one easy to learn.

I know what you mean, he said, nodding. Anyway, I’m glad to see the penny dropped.

It was my turn to look at him carefully.

He laughed. I’m glad you remembered, he said. Come and eat with me.

He was holding a meat pie .I’d been told that this is a very Australian thing to eat, but I had never seen anyone eat one before. I was interested to see how it was done.

Are you student here? I asked as we sat down.

Yep. Philosophy.

Oh, I said. Plato, Confucius…

And Stolly Kalanthes.

When I looked puzzled, he said, That’s me. Stolly.

He switched his pie to his hand and held out his right. Finally the time had come for me to shake someone’s hand. By then we had practiced this in class and I knew how to be firm and brief.

My name’s Akira, I said, reaching out and shaking his hand. Squeeze, two seconds, drop. I’d done it!

Stolly took his pie from its bag and I watched furtively. Would he lift up the top and eat the meat out of the pastry? But no, he began with a bite in the middle of one side and continued biting even though the filling kept threatening to fall out. My way might have been better.


While Lewis Carroll’s most famous poem, Jabberwocky, from Through the Looking Glass, is a great introduction to the theme of nonsense – see The Creative Teaching Space # 9 – it is also a great starting point for parody. The original poem can be easily parodied and students could substitute words pertaining to an area of study.

Here is a copy of the original followed by a car lover’s version:

by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

by Barry Ergang

'Twas buick, and the slicky tires
Did squeal and wobble on the road.
All audi were the first-time buyers
Whom the salesmen outsnowed.

"Beware the Jaguarmock, you podge!
The clutch that grinds, the engine fartin'!
Abhor the Yugo bird, and dodge
The vroomiest Aston-Martin!"

He took his volvo wrench in hand:
Long-time ferrari foe his fear--
Thus idled he 'neath the Hyundai tree,
And sat there out of gear.

And, as in lexus thought he sat,
The Jaguarmock, its horn a-bloogin',
Chryslered up the porsche flat
And bellowed, "Fahrvergnugen!"

A twist! A twirl! And with a whirl
The Volvo wrench went ponty-ack.
He bent and took hood ornament,
And studebakered back.

"Hast thou totaled, then, the Jaguarmock?
Come get a hug, my beemer boy!
O fordjous day! Cadlack coopay!"
He saabed with packard joy.

'Twas buick, and the slicky tires
Did squeal and wobble on the road.
All Audi were the first-time buyers
Whom the salesmen outsnowed.

Here is a website of Parodies. Perhaps students could make up their own. This could even include a longer parody of Through the Looking Glass. Students could even take the current text being studied in English and run it through a cross subject analysis and parody: Harry Potter and the Volcanologist’s find.

Creative and humorous works could be included as a culminating performance – end of unit assessment task. The skills required in creating a parody are quite extensive, particularly if one has to engage an audience at the same time as expressing key information. I have never doubted the intelligence of the Monty Python team. Underlying their work is a sharp satirical eye and knowledge of literature and other cultural forms.

The Biby

Where on earth did the following eerie poem come from? I first came across this poem in a poetry collection and it has always intrigued me.

Biby’s Epitaph

A muvver was barfin' 'er biby one night,
The youngest of ten and a tiny young mite,
The muvver was poor and the biby was thin,
Only a skelington covered in skin;
The muvver turned rahnd for the soap off the rack,
She was but a moment, but when she turned back,
The baby was gorn; and in anguish she cried,
"Oh, where is my bibe?"-The angels replied:
"You biby 'as fell dahn the plug-'ole,
Your biby 'as gorn dahn the plug;
The poor little thing was so skinny and thin
'E oughter been barfed in a jug;
Your biby is perfeckly 'appy,
'E won't need a barf any more,
Your biby 'as fell dahn the plug'ole,
Not lorst, but gorn before."

Biby’s Epitaph seems to be an old rhyme and I have images of it being recited as part of bawdy folklore e.g.18th century Britain. But even then, in an age when infant mortality was high, one wonders whether the poem is too black. Who would have recited this? To whom? Or, perhaps, it is relatively modern?

Naughty Baby

Baby, baby, naughty baby,
Hush, you squalling thing, I say.
Peace this moment, peace, or maybe
Bonaparte will pass this way.

Baby, baby, he's a giant,
Tall and black as Rouen steeple,
And he breakfasts, dines, rely on't,
Every day on naughty people.

Baby, baby, if he hears you
As he gallops past the house,
Limb from limb at once he'll tear you,
Just as pussy tears a mouse.

And he'll beat you, beat you, beat you,
And he'll beat you into pap,
And he'll eat you, eat you, eat you,
Every morsel snap, snap, snap.

From the Annotated Mother Goose


Hush-a-bye, baby, on the tree top!
When the wind blows the cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall;
Down will come baby, bough, cradle and all.

The Real Mother Goose

But even then I am reminded, yet again, of modern parodies such as Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. And I have also been thinking about their wonderful songs. Surely there must be a Westend musical in these somewhere down the line? We may even be lucky and see some of them at work again!

ANNOUNCER: The Miracle of Birth: Part Two: The Third World.

[sombre music]
[bark bark bark bark bark bark]
[quack quack]
[quack quack quack quack quack quack]

DAD: Oh, bloody hell.
[quack quack quack]


BABY: [crying]

MUM: Ohh, get that, would you, Deirdre?

DIERDRE: All right, Mum.

BABY: [crying]

[bark bark bark bark bark bark bark]

CHILDREN: [talking]

MUM: Now, whose teatime is it?


MUM: Come on, now. Out you go. Now, uh, Vincent, Tessa, Valerie, Janine, Martha, Andrew, Thomas, Walter, Pat, Linda, Michael, Evadne, Alice, Dominique, and Sasha, it's your bedtime.


MUM: Now, don't argue! Laura, Alfred, Nigel, Annie, Simon, Amanda,--

DAD: Wait! I've got something to tell the whole family.

MUM: Oh, quick. Go and get the others in, Gordon.

CHILDREN: What could it be? Shhh...

DAD: The mill's closed! There's no more work. We're destitute.

CHILDREN: [talking]

DAD: Come in, my little loves. I've got no option but to sell you all for scientific experiments.

CHILDREN: [whining]

DAD: No, no. That's the way it is, my loves. Blame the Catholic church for not letting me wear one of those little rubber things. Oh, they've done some wonderful things in their time.They preserved the might and majesty, the mystery of the Church of Rome, and the sanctity of the sacraments, the indivisible oneness of the Trinity, but if they'd let me wear one of those little rubber things on the end of my cock, we wouldn't be in the mess we are now.

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

On the other hand, just to complement the above poem, the poem Mid Term Break, by Seamus Heaney, is a very moving account of the death of a child. What happens when we put satire together with seriousness?

Hands Reaching

There is the diminutive hand of a black, starving child, in the hand of a white aid worker, remembered from Life magazine. There is Michelangelo's Adam reaching for the hand of God in the Sistine Chapel. There are the mysterious hands in Lee Miller’s photographs – Exploding Hand and Untitled.

There are monuments signaling healing or protection from abuse – the hand as cultural symbol, icon of the welfare industry.

What are these hands reaching for? Whose hands? Why? Hands are iconic in renaissance painting and feature in rock art.

The Literalist Image

Stitch in Time

We generally speak or write in metaphors, yet here metaphors, and other figures of speech, are expressed visually. Students may like to draw, paint or use drama to express figures of speech.

Some childrens’ illustrators have constructed entire books expressing figures of speech. What happens if the process is reversed? Can people guess the figure of speech by the illustration?

There is a certain art in being literal. We so often use slang and other figures of speech in daily speech. Just imagine an illustration of the following comment I once made to a perplexed friend in England: "I think I’ll duck down the street in a mini and I’ll be back in a tic."

Students may even like to explore how literalisms can be very funny. Literal interpretations can occur whenever language is abbreviated e.g. in advertising, graffiti, or newspaper headlines .Only Recently an ABC reader, in Hobart, had to read a headline pertaining to scuba equipment. He said, "Divers are warned of using second-hand hookers." A 'hooker' is an oxygen pump. I must admit that you could see the newsreader slightly squirm. Invite students to create their own humour!

Maths Poem

Our lives are surrounded by numbers. We count the minutes, the hours, count the coins, are surprised by loss or gain. Numbers evoke innumerable feelings; or maybe these feelings can be counted. This poem explores a small part of our relationship to numbers. Just how far do numbers impact upon our actions and our feelings? We count the pages, are aware of the first or second time that we have done something. We are very aware of the last time, the minus, the loss. The growth and multiplication of the new restores us. We move on from the half completed and revel in the whole. Imagine keeping a numbers diary documenting our many experiences with numbers.

Yes one can be a whole part funny but if it is only a part then the opposite applies: "he is a bit funny."

Framing with a Car

Our eyes are a frame. So is the window. We frame with our perception, our memories, our desires. Why do we refer to ‘frames’? What is the origin of the word? Artists often create a frame and that becomes a central part of their art. Rosalie Gascoigne reveled in cut up signs, the Tasmanian artist Matt Calvert creates collages from car parts found at the side of roads. Here the interesting photographer Raghubir Singh uses the windows and shape of the Ambassador car to create a new view of India. How many other frames can we draw upon to give an insight into the world around us?

Acknowledging the Reader

Who are you? Where are you sitting? Are you reading from a laptop, at home, on holiday, are you in an Internet café browsing the web, sipping a cappuccino, about to step into a European Museum? Perhaps these words have been printed. You are carrying them on the train, home, glancing at them between adverts on the television. Who are you? What do you want from me? How do you picture me? What relationship have we entered into? Is it a type of conversation? What have I just told you? What are you feeling?

In the following poem, From an Atlas of the Difficult World, Adrienne Rich states with an ironic certainty who she thinks you are. Billy Collins, in Dear Reader, confronts your anonymity. On this site of online streamed lectures Billy Collins reads the delightful poem, You Reader, at the 7.30 mark.

Dear Reader I must now depart. If you are reading this now – can there be any other time – perhaps it is wise to wish you a Happy Xmas, a wonderful January, a fun February, a…..

As the war in Iraq continues – at the time of writing this – I now allude to a suspended heading: the final chapter. Following on from last edition’s After the Ruins Beyond the climax is a section worthy of a poem, no words and no image: dear reader you just need to click on the heading.

The End and the Beginning

Darron Davies

© Copyright In Clued - Ed 2009


Resources School Change Writing and Design Workshops Photography Blog Apps Contact