Stop, Don’t Read
Essays and Poems
Paperback, 75 pages, $19.95
Sworder has written two essays especially for this edition of his poems. The book starts with “Why Poetry?’ and finishes with a brief account of the major forms of English verse.
Stop, don’t read, or if you read, realise
That those first words unheeded, these the next
Commit you to the immutable fact
Of your reading, your reading, your reading.
Nothing can change this. If you understand
If you try only, the act is achieved.
Every line or word, each syllable
Becomes the history of what you are.
There is nothing else. These words before you
The act of your mind understanding them
Don’t you see that they are all that exists,
That out of them your universe is made?
Oh, soon you will forget them, certainly.
They will vanish, others will take their place
But they are always there somewhere,
They must be or you have never read this.
Roger Sworder started Latin at six and Greek at ten in English private schools. He has degrees from Oxford and the ANU and lectured in Bendigo for thirty-six years. His major studies are on Homer, Parmenides and Plato, and on the theory of work. He was on the Connor Court Quarterly editorial board until his death in 2016.