Ode to Friday: Wright


The eyeless labourer in the night,
the selfless, shapeless seed I hold,
builds for its resurrection day –
silent and swift and deep from sight
foresees the unimagined light.

This is no child with a child’s face;
this has no name to name it by;
yet you and I have known it well.
This is our hunter and our chase,
the third who lay in our embrace.

This is the strength that your arm knows,
the arc of flesh that is my breast,
the precise crystals of our eyes.
This is the blood’s wild tree that grows
the intricate and folded rose.

This is the maker and the made;
this is the question and reply;
the blind head butting at the dark,
the blaze of light along the blade.
Oh hold me, for I am afraid.

~ Woman to Man by Judith Wright (Australian, 1915-2000)


Image: by Joan Miró


11 thoughts on “Ode to Friday: Wright

    • I do love how she conveys the woman’s fear and awe at the act of conception. It’s delicate and ruthless at the same time, Wright’s voice.

      When we had to study her decades ago at uni, I didn’t take to her. I resented and feared the dry, grotesque, cruel Australia she spoke from. A Patrick White kind of Australia. Maybe I’ve become old enough to hear her now.


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