Wednesday 13th June 2018

With a whirligig of metaphors and a thumping rain of rhythm, Poetry in Action stormed into the chapel on the 12th of June.

This highly regarded ensemble have companies that tour throughout Australia, and across the ditch - or trenches if you’d rather - to the shores of The Land of the Long White Cloud. The first show, performed for our Year 10 students, saw a provocative, squally exploration of truth and the media, in the age of Trump, chief in charge of The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue in Trumpellian) at the White House.

Engaging and sustaining the interest of 80 odd 14 year old boys with a show about the media, integrating poetry and spoken word, is no small challenge. So thunderous was the actors' skill (‘spot on’ in the words of our own font to wisdom, Don Campbell) that this challenge was easily fronted, and the boys were drenched in entertainment with a precipitation of stimulation for the duration of the show.

For the Year 12 and 13 boys, things took a turn mud-ward. The fire-storm and freezing frosts of the ‘War to End all Wars’ was brought to life through the poetry of Wilfred Owen. It was fair to say that there were quite a few in the audience who considered themselves rather knowledgeable about the life and work of this masterful Trench poet.  And all of us went away with a considerably broadened knowledge. Poetry in Action showered us with the understanding that Owen was a man of apparent contradictions - a strong and willing fighter, a hater of war; a man of significant courage, a man driven mad by fear. The different seasons of Owen’s psyche and life were, indeed, enthralling.

Soon, however, the sky cleared, and the young men drifted back out of the chapel, eyes bright now as the gentle sun reflected their new illumination. An hour well spent.