Judith Wright (1915 -2000) is one of Australia's most famous poets, and this is a favourite. I have highlighted the phrases on which I have based my painting.
The blacksmith's boy went out with a rifle
and a black dog running behind.
Cobwebs snatched at his feet,
rivers hindered him,
thorn branches caught at his eyes to make him blind
and the sky turned into an unlucky opal,
but he didn't mind.
I can break branches, I can swim rivers, I can stare out any spider I meet,
said he to his dog and rifle.
The blacksmith's boy went over the paddocks
with his old black hat on his head.
Mountains jumped in his way,
rocks rolled down on him, and the old crow cried, you'll soon be dead.
And the rain came down like mattocks.
But he only said
I can climb mountains, I can dodge rocks, I can shoot
an old crow any day,
and he went on over the paddocks.
When he came to the end of the day the sun began falling.
Up came the night ready to swallow him,
like the barrel of a gun, like an old black hat,
like a black dog hungry to follow him.
Then the pigeon. the magpie, and the dove began wailing
and the grass lay down to pillow him.
His rifle broke, his hat blew away, and his dog was gone
and the sun was falling.
But in front of the night the rainbow stood on the mountain,
just as heart foretold.
He ran like a hare,
he climbed like a fox,
he caught it in his hands, the colour and the cold -
like a bar of ice, like the column of a fountain,
like a ring of gold.
The pigeon. the magpie, and the dove flew up to stare,
and the grass stood up again on the mountain.
The blacksmith's boy hung the rainbow on his shoulder
instead of his broken gun.
Lizards ran out to see,
snakes made way for him,
and the rainbow shone brightly as the sun.
All the world said, nobody is braver, nobody is bolder,
nobody else has done
anything to equal it. He went home as bold as he could be
with the swinging rainbow on his shoulder.
|I Can Swim Rivers
Thanks Inspiration Avenue for the opportunity to share this.