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By Cassandra L. Atherton

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Additional resources for Flashing eyes and floating hair : a reading of Gwen Harwood’s pseudonymous poetry

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And third, because the reader unconsciously wants to avoid the hostility and dissent that Harwood publicly displays. Similarly, Harwood’s treatment of Candida Baker is dismissive. ’ is unscholarly,16 it is nevertheless an attempt to lighten the tone, personalise the interview and perhaps even to befriend the poet. Harwood’s response is dismissive, How do I like my coffee? Fresh and hot! 17 Harwood is always keen to make this claim, and the repetition of similar sentiments concerning anonymity and the divided self are intriguing.

It won The Age Book of the Year and perhaps because of this, eleven years later, A Steady Storm of Correspondence achieved much less fanfare. Although it received favourable reviews and included letters Harwood wrote to a variety of literati and friends, not just to Riddell, the public no longer saw the novelty in the epistolary, the ficto-critical or even the autobiography as forms of fiction. ’43 We embellish our life stories to make them more interesting, to emphasise a particular part of our life we may feel was important in retrospect or we lie about family and friends to avoid embarrassment or quarrels.

I did not The Lehmann Oeuvre 23 inscribe it to my mother. 32 Biographical elements, we are told by Harwood, also appear in poems that are not dedicated to specific people. 34 This parallels the anecdote where she details her experience of playing for Rubinstein and connects it to the ‘she’ who ‘once played for Rubinstein, who yawned’ in ‘Suburban Sonnet’. 36 Therefore, Harwood is, on the one hand, quick to argue that her poems are not biographical but then states, as in the previous comment, that some are indeed biographical.

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