Episode 1: An ode to poetry

Good Librations Podcast EPISODE 1

Beauty, function and importance

From Shakespeare's sonnets to pithy limericks, historical epics and contemporary spoken word, what is it about poetry that just gets us every time? (And how does German poet Gottlob Burmann indulge his pathological aversion to the letter R - despite the spelling of his own name?)

All this and more in the inaugural episode of Good Librations.


Shelf-absorbed (books we reviewed)

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Bone Season.jpg   Illuminae.jpg

Shelf-important (things we mentioned)


Clancy of the overflow by A.B. Paterson

The raven by Edgar Allan Poe

‘Oh Romeo’ speech from Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas

Poems by T.S. Eliot

The rime of the ancient mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

All that is gold does not glitter by J.R.R. Tolkien

Records of woman: with other poems by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

The hill we climb by Amanda Gorman

Negritude poets

Beat poets

OCD by Neil Hilborn

Rudy Francisco

Gone from my sight by Henry Van Dyke

Wild geese by Mary Oliver

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

The walrus & the carpenter by Lewis Carroll

On the ning, nang, nong by Spike Milligan

The owl & the pussycat by Edward Lear

Boomerang valentine by Andrea Gibson

To the virgins, to make much of time by Robert Herrick

Oh captain! My captain! by Walt Whitman

The flea by John Donne

Fire & ice by Robert Frost

Funeral blues by W.H. Auden

Nothing gold can stay by Robert Frost

Poetry in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 

Poetry in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: 

An Irish airman foresees his death by W.B. Yeats

Breathes there the man by Sir Walter Scott

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou by John Keats 

Death be not proud by John Donne

The Odyssey by Homer 

The Iliad by Homer

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 



  • Maya Angelou
  • Jane Austen
  • Erykah Badu
  • William Blake
  • Bo Burnham 
  • Lord Byron
  • Percy Bysse Shelley
  • Aime Ce’saire
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Jack Kerouac
  • Langston Hughes
  • Omar Khayyam
  • Rumi
  • Leopold Senghor
  • Dr Seuss
  • Tupac Shakur
  • Mark Tredinnick
  • Virgil
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Rachel Wiley
  • William Wordsworth


Films/television shows 

  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • Eclipse
  • Inside



  • Nevermind by Nirvana

Shelf-obsessed (further reading)

A selection of poetry available at Kiama Library


60 classic Australian poems with commentaries by Geoff Page

Apples from Hurricane Street: poems for children chosen by Clare Scott-Mitchell

Aurora Leigh and other poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning; edited by John Robert Glorney Bolton and Julia Bolton Holloway

Coleridge: poetical works including poems and versions of poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Jagardoo: poems from Aboriginal Australia by Jack Davis; drawings by Harold Thomas

The road not taken: a selection of poems by Robert Frost

The return of the prophet by Hajjar Gibran; original illustrations by Alexander Chubotin

Poetical works of Henry Lawson with preface and introduction by David Wright

Talking sheds and other corrugations by Jack Oats

War poems and others by Wilfred Owens; edited with an introduction and notes by Dominic Hibberd

Selected poems by Emily Dickinson

The collected verse by A.B. Paterson

Imagining Alexandria: poems in memory of Constantinos Cavafis by Louis de Bernieres; illustrated by Donald Sammut

Taller when prone by Les Murray

Selected stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe

How to fly (in ten thousand easy lessons) by Barbara Kingsolver

Do it your-shelf (our poetry)

I start the day by Lauren Watkins

I start the day alight
With courage and direction
The sky above, so bright
My heart is its reflection

I’ve purpose in my soul
I reach my hand toward it
For it will make me whole
My patience then rewarded

And so I onward go
The sun is at its summit
The shadows lengthen, so
My hope begins to plummet

The night is fast approaching
The summertime now waning
The darkness near, encroaching
My love, not yet obtaining

And yet, I feel you near me
I’m waiting, can’t you see it?
I’m yours, can you not hear me?
My heart, will you not free it?


The Waterfall by Carla James

What magic is in a waterfall,
in the cold, and in the moss.
In the flitting and the clever wit of tiny blue-brown gossips
Who gather in the green to watch and judge and warn and fuss.
And in the way it slightly shifts:
while humming on my back,
something bandied and too-oft aloft:
an old and stagnant loss.

What relief there is in looking up,
when the fear of falling stops.
When a gaze – long trained on tracks and gnarls and traps and cracks –
finds blue amid the gusting tops.
And what grace is in a moment caught,
dry-soaked in sparking amber,
the kind that can expel a netted breath –
far, far, far too long held in lungs
far, far, far too ashamed to let it go –
and turn it into wonder.

There is magic in the letting go.
And in birds and sun and looking up.
And getting wet and being bold.
And even in the sting of cold,
so sharp the air is urged out of me.
And here inside the green and gold
and cold and rough and loss of time,
I hold my breath and wonder:
On which side am I?
Inside the suffocating squall?
Or atop the righteous roar?
Of the waterfall.