Canberra by Dianne Williams

  • : Poem
  • : None
  • : I was trying to work with the idea of there being two Canberras, one a place for the politicians and one a real home for those who live here. This is only a draft - I think it really needs quite a bit of work to say exactly what I want it to but hopefully it has something to say even in its early stages. Thanks for reading and thanks for any and all comments. 🙂


  1. Christian Donovan

    Hi Dianne, I applaud your poem’s idea of portraying a city as two places – a bit like the Queen’s birthday – one official and the other the real thing. If I’m going to be brutal (and ignore me if you want, please), I think you could do some pruning. For example, in the first verse you write: A place where leader clowns can come / they come and play their games. You could make this (and I appreciate the clowns!): A place where leader clowns come and play. Likewise in the second verse, the first two lines could be pressed into one and the whole would become more intense – and so on through all the verses. Lovely idea for a poem, though.

    1. Dianne Williams Post author

      Hi Christian. No, your ideas are perfect. My goal for the poem became getting it done so I could meet the challenge so it grew a bit like topsy at the end there. I feel like I haven’t really captured the idea of what I wanted to do with it. Drastic pruning is definitely needed. I’ve been thinking I might even try to continue with some more historical facts about government Canberra comparing it to what was happening in the people’s Canberra behind the scenes. I’m not sure… will have to think further.

      Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

  2. Annette Deyro

    Really strong first stanza in my opinion, very good image. I also like the concept you wanted to show with the two side of Canberra, though i’ll admit i got a bit lost in the middle. The last stanza gets the point across pretty well. But i would suggest connecting it more to the beginning for more impact. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. Kim

    It definitely has the potential and with a bit of rework, correct choice of word/phrasing you’ll achieve that lyrical beat.

    Your disdain of politicians shines through- love it!.

    Also like the ref to a future king and Queen…sort of lends a magical,fairytale quality to your story.

    1. Dianne Williams Post author

      Thanks for your comments – much appreciated. I was trying to imagine what they thought standing there in their finery with other dignitaries at the opening of a grand building in the middle of nowhere. It’s both a gently amusing and a totally incongruous picture. The future Queen was the current Queen of England’s mother and she was a brave and much loved figure in English (and Australian) circles particularly for her work during war.

      I agree it needs reworking. I was wanting to bring a bit of the indigenous history as well but maybe I am asking too much of a simple poem. Hopefully draft two will clarify some of my ideas a bit.

      1. Kim

        Aahhh okay…so historical fact? : the Queen Mother ? – yes I can only imagine what was going thru her mind with all the pomp and ceremony…in such a far out place. I’ve been to Australia but never Canberra…not exactly the hotspot tourist destination I dont think…Hopefully in the future I can remedy that 🤗

        1. Dianne Williams Post author

          I think it depends on your definition of hot spot and why you travel to a place. There are so many natural wonders in Australia that I think I would prioritise them and then Canberra would not make it onto my list. And there’s no coast so no glorious beaches. But it’s a nice place to visit methinks. Plus the locals are friendly. 😀

  4. lelfring

    Nicely done, the flow is a bit rough at times, perhaps reading out loud, then, where you stumble in reading, maybe change the wording. I like the concept, and really like the clowns!