Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Terms: a return-to-school poem

By Tracy

Below is a short poem from a collection written with the support of Australia Council funding earlier this year. 

The Perth Poetry Festival is on this week, and as part of their Poetry on the Big Screen venture in Northbridge, this is one of the two of my poems that will be projected, among other poems.

My new set of poems enabled by the Australia Council funding ranges across many aspects of homeschooling, both before the current pandemic (for those of us who had homeschooled already in the past) and in the particular lockdown circumstances that were new to many people.

Part of that experience in some places has been the necessity of transitioning back into the school system, whether or not people felt ready. 

Here in Western Australia the risk has been very low, but in various regions of the world, schools have had to reopen and teachers and students to absorb a great deal of anxiety, whether it was safe or not.

There's the added tension that for some, the return to external schooling is a necessary, even vital support, and the lockdown homeschooling a really difficult period.

In fact there is no one-size-fits-all experience of this phenomenon, and the poems have attempted many different angles, not limited to one's own personal trajectory (so that the "he", "she" or "they" in the poems are generic, and not necessarily people from my own life).

This particular poem is a short one related to the return to school after lockdown...

Tracy Ryan


                                        This project has been assisted by the Australia Council arts funding and advisory body