Gwen Harwood Radio Trascript

Radio transcript

Announcer: Today we are delighted to have with us in the studio Gwen Harwood, the renowned Australian poet, acclaimed for her brilliant work throughout the twentieth century. We will be talking to her predominately about her poem “Mother Who Gave Me Life”, which is taught within many schools around the world and brings up many relative themes that also link to many more acknowledged poems. Welcome Gwen, thank you for giving up your afternoon to be here.

Harwood: It’s a pleasure, I love to share my thoughts and hear other opinions about my poetry. It broadens my perspective on certain things, which is something I always appreciate.

A: That’s always a great quality to have, one of many I’m sure you have. Would you like to give the listeners out there, who may not know you or your background very well, all of which contributed to your body of work.

H: Oh absolutely, hoping not to bore anyone with all this (laughs). Well, my story began in 1920, where I was born in Queensland and have very fond memories of my upbringing in Brisbane. It was not until I married in 1945, and moved to Tasmania with my husband William. I started writing in my late thirties after I recognized my deep inner necessity to realise in words the moments that gave my life meaning. My life has not been eventful, but all a poet needs is the long journey from innocence to experience, when memory becomes a powerful conduit into the past; childhood experience held in the sub-conscious able to illuminate adult perceptions. Also my love for music and interest in theology and philosophy are found in many of my poems as I hold them at such high regard in my life’s interest.

A: I’m sure everyone out there would agree with me and say that you are a big influence on society and have taught many through your love of poetry. One of your better-known poems “mother who gave me life” has been used through schools and teaching, what were your main reasons behind writing that...