In a world of fists
The Frangipani Festival reminds Rabaul of its past

Sorry I'm not for sale

Woman (Etsy)KATHRYNA BOBOLA | Crocodile Prize
An entry in the Abt Associates Award for Women’s Literature

I wasn't born with a price tag or a barcode.
Nor did I learn things in another household.
People said I wouldn't maintain the workload
And that one day I would be forcibly sold

They promised me good fortune and delight,
Offered money my parents never saw or had.
It seemed like an abundant life was in sight,
I refused. My parents thought I’d gone mad.

"Sorry, I'm not for sale"
I’m more than the money you offer
And sure our future will fail
Just leave me alone, don’t bother.

I’m not Cinderella who works the kitchen
I’m educated with a degree in tourism
Anyway, your sisters are always bitching.
I'd rather be following, well, Buddhism.

Bride price means you’re the property of your man.
He liked you, put you on lay by and now owns you.
If he's lazy, it's you who'll work with your hands,
bear the kids, even digging out the loo.

I wasn't born with a price tag or a bar code
Nor was I born to work another household
People said not married will make you explode.
But, hey, I survive without being sold.


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Dominica Are

This is what I tell myself all the time! Loved the last verse :)

Thank you Keith for this interesting article on free verse poems. Sticking to the rules of formal poetry have been quite challenging for me thus I prefer and enjoy writing free verse poems.

William Dunlop

Try this one. Lines that became poet William Butler Yeats' epitaph.

Cast a cold Eye
On Life, on Death
Horseman pass by

Philip Fitzpatrick

In thinking of a poet that PNG writers might emulate I don't think you can go past John Shaw Neilson. Here's a sample called Break of Day:

The stars are pale.
Old is the Night, his case is grievous,
His strength doth fail.

Through stilly hours
The dews have draped with love’s old lavishness
The drowsy flowers.

And Night shall die.
Already, lo! the Morn’s first ecstasies
Across the sky.

An evil time is done.
Again, as someone lost in a quaint parable,
Comes up the Sun.

Rashmii Bell

I really enjoyed this too! Especially verse two and three.

Great stuff, Kathryna.

Chips Mackellar

Thank you Keith. It is a very thoughtful article. I agree, there are many kinds of what is called free verse, but I doubt if any can replicate the thunder of the hoofbeats in the rigid rhyme and rhythm of Lord Byron's "Destruction of Sennacherib" thus:

"The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold,
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee."

And because she is so gifted, I think that this is the kind of rhyme and rhythm Kathryna should be aiming for.

Or this little beauty, eh Chips -

"There's a Patrol Post up there in the Sky, above the sea near Lae,
Nor'nor west of Samarai, south-east of Hansa Bay.
It has palm trees waving in the moon, where mosquitoes sting at night,
And canoes out on the blue lagoon, awaiting fish to bite.
It smells of kunai in the rain, and smoke from the valley floor,
And you'll hear the pounding surf again, on the reef beyond the shore.
It's the place where all the kiaps go, when their life on earth is through,
And they talk with all the friends they know, and of the things they used to do.

An extract from Chips' wonderful rhythmic (and rhyming) ode dedicated to the memory of all kiaps - KJ

Chips Mackellar

This is one of the few examples of PNG poetry where the writer makes an honest attempt at rhyme and rhythm, just like a poem should be. The first two verses show how it should bge done, and Kathryna deserves congratulations for this.

Most of what claims to be PNG poetry is just a jumble of words, sometimes quite meaningless. But here Kathryna has demonstrated she has the consummate skill to become one of the best PNG poets.

There are many different poetic forms and devices, Chips, including free verse poems that have no particular structure, format, rhyme scheme or anything much by way of rules. So rhyming may be your preference, Chips, but it’s not a rule. Here’s an interesting article giving 10 reasons why poems don’t need to rhyme - KJ

Philip Fitzpatrick

Kathryna sounds like a pretty feisty woman and she writes good poetry. I particularly enjoyed this one, especially the second verse.

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