These paper boats of mine are meant to dance on the ripples of hours, and not reach any destination... Rabindranath Tagore

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.
On the way to the river are the old dormitories, used for something else now, with their fairy-tale turrets, painted white and gold and blue. When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.
--from Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Purple Threads

Purple Threads by Jeanine Leane
University of Queensland Press. 2011.
Winner of the David Unaipon Award.
David Unaipon (1872-1967) was the first indigenous writer to be published in Australia in 1929.

 of women and dogs
in the flood prone world of Gundagai

of living in a ramshackle hut
graced with a tin roof
ideal for hearing the sound of rain

of living with aunts and a nan and a sister Star
while Mum Petal tastes the colours of other worlds

of living with sheep and wildflowers

of knowing too much about worldly discords
and the unprovoked abuse of a neighbour

of loving the Aboriginal niche of my childhood
though the civilised may never understand

I was born in the purpleness of October

I am Sunshine
You can call me Sunny

Linking to:
Imaginary Garden With Real Toads - Open Link Monday

Purple ThreadsPurple Threads by Jeanine Leane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Layers of stories tumble from the worlds of a ragged home in Gundagai in southern New South Wales. A young girl is buffeted between stories from past and present worlds - her aunts' versions. But she is intrigued. She loves her different world, close to the music and moods of the earth. Only humans strike the wrong chords, but the other music plays in the background. Her purple threads - the earth colours of an Australian October, her birth season - keep her connected. Sunny is an Aboriginal girl being what she can be. The narrative becomes a series of many cameos of Sunny's world and those with her through the seasons.

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J Cosmo Newbery said...

A neat encapsulation of the story.

Vandana Sharma said...


Susie Clevenger said...

What a wonderful way to write a book review. I so want to read it now!!

Amrit Sinha said...

Nice :-)

Kay L. Davies said...

What a great idea, Gemma, a book review in poem form. Beautifully done, and I want to read it, too. I love Sunny already.

humbird said...

Very intriguing...specially 2 worlds...should be confusing for!

Anonymous said...

Gemma, thank you for turning us on to a great book - I'm library-bound in an hour. Sunny is a real survivor and an old soul. Your words were potent and true. I loved this poem. Amy

Unknown said...

I may as well...sunny. lovely write.

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