You may have seen the poem that I called Ten Pound Poms for the Australian (Bowlesian) Sonnet on K. McGee’s blog; I’m enjoying trying out these new [to me at least!] forms … but have to admit that I find some of them rather constraining. Not entirely happy with my best efforts at putting my thoughts into the Australian Sonnet, I have rewritten the poem as I might have written it without the form in mind and I’ve re-titled it too to differentiate between the two of them. I’d love to have your thoughts on which you prefer and why … this aspect of writing intrigues me … form is fascinating, but here, my own voice wanted to break free and I just couldn’t leave it alone.
Ten Pound Migration
Crowds line the docks in the nineteen fifties,
Waiting to sail to a new land, they’re thrifty;
They’ve paid just a tenner to get on the ship
And want a lot more than just a round trip.
A land called Australia arouses their dreams,
They think with nostalgia of Britain, it seems.
Passports in hands, papers in luggage,
They yearn for the new world, new life, new mortgage.
They spurn the old world, the doled world, the cold world,
They are excited, celebrating …
Citizenship promised after only one year,
And warmth, their skin, bones, eyes become clear,
Some will be famous in due course perhaps,
The new life that beckons is free of all traps,
And they dream of fame on the stage or in government,
The future is bright and there will be betterment,
The scheme extends to other nations,
Many, it seems, seek a change of location,
“Please stay for two years or refund the money,”
This is the land of milk and honey.
Going to work in a new place,
Where they’re a new face,
Polly Stretton © 2012