John Forbes Poems
- Anzac Day A certain cast to their features marked the ...
- On The Beach: A Bicentennial P... Your vocation calls & you ...
- Four Heads & How To Do Them The Classical Head Nature in ...
- Event Horizon The Greeks invented the dust cover only ...
- Death, An Ode Death, you’re more successful than ...
- Ars Poetic Raving against the space where the poem ...
- Antipodean Heads I wish we could be nicer like the ...
John Forbes was an Australian poet.
Forbes was born in Melbourne, Australia, but during his childhood his family lived in northern Queensland, Malaya and New Guinea. He went to Sydney University and his circle of friends included the poets Robert Adamson, Martin Johnston, and John Tranter. It was at this time that the work of the American poets Ted Berrigan, John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara made a strong and lasting impression on him.
He returned to live in Melbourne in the late 1980s, where he became the poetry editor of Scripsi. His friends around this time included the poets Gig Ryan, Laurie Duggan and Alan Wearne.
Forbes died in Melbourne of a heart attack, ... more »
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A certain cast to their features marked
the English going into battle, & then, that
glint in the Frenchman’s eye meant ‘Folks
clear the room!’ The Turks knew death
would take them to a paradise of sex
Islam reserves for its warrior dead
& the Scots had their music. The Germans
worshipped the State & Death, so for them
the Maximschlacht was almost a sacrament.
Recruiting posters made the Irish soldier
look like a saint on a holy card, soppy & pious,
the way the Yanks go on about their dead.
Not so the Australians, unamused, ...