Banned Books in Australia A Special Collections-Art in the Library Exhibition

Gary Willis & Ronn Morris

Sonnets for the Pain – (ii) Poetry, You, Too, Dislike It

Gary Willis, Poetry You Too Dislike It


In 2002 Ronn Morris and Gary Willis began their collaboration on the 1944 Ern Malley poems, ‘The Darkening Ecliptic’. The objective was to re-work the 17 poems by McAuley and Stewart, along with the studies by Sidney Nolan, inspired by the Malley Poems. This Malley project is no literal act of appropriation, but rather it forms a double-conceit: a mimetic act which infuses a new poiesis into the old charade. As Morris puts it, ‘these poems are real’.

Oil on canvas on board

36 cm x 30 cm

Ronn Morris, Poetry, You Too Dislike It

Sonnets for the Pain

(ii) Poetry, You, too, Dislike it.

Mostly it breaches your britches
And reaches for the sad-sacked
Seat of your soul. Then you’re daked!
But on occasion it surprises.
Sometimes it arises naturally
As the leaves to a tree
Then, it’s the sap rising
The verdure transfusing
All shade to a wash
Of chlorophyll as it leaps
Leaf bud to leaf bud
Staining the colours of the whole world green.
Then as it takes you by fine excess
Poetry is lovely as a tree, not.

Ronn Morris

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