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douglas scotney

(boomer / Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Resides in Adelaide)

Speculation on Mr and Mrs Cook's Love Life


Undertaking the trip to New Holland
Left Cook with no few comparisons
With more sensual downward journeys
He had imagined or encountered

And it came as no surprise
When a thoroughbred researcher
Found Cook had made jokes
About 'down under' on the journey

And for his own delectation
Had compiled a list of comparisons
Which he could not help sharing
With a close poet friend

Of whose existence his wife
May have had no suspicion at the time,
Though the poem that friend wrote
From Cook's list, 'Down Under,1770',
Was found by the thoroughbred
To have been amongst her papers:

So she must have found out
Even if it was after the Sandwich Isles
When all hope vanished
Of a confrontation with James.

This, however, is not giving the woman
Capacities of enlargement.
She may well have agreed with her husband
That she was altogether too serious
And that he needed dalliance as well;

As she knew only too well
From her studies of the poet Donne
Whose dalliances had been crucial
To the enlargement of the possibilities of lyric verse,
According to T.S.Eliot.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Edited: Thursday, October 03, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

New Holland=an early name for Australia
James Cook=first English man to find and explore east coast of Australia.
'Down Under' probably even predates Cook.

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