Friday, October 10, 2008

Typo Brides

Tucked in the back of his A&R New and Selected - a copy once borrowed by the poet in haste before a reading and returned many months later inscribed as a gift, if memory serves - I recently found a letter from John Forbes. It is dated 27 October 1993 - he was in the Australia Council Rome apartment at the time. In it he seems to make a typing error - instead of 'Harbour Bridge' he writes 'Harbour Bride'. Peter Porter records a similar typo in his poem 'Brides come to the Poet's Window' whose first line explains "Birds, it should have been, but pleasure quickens." Forbes jokes about a MONUMENTAL STATUE of John Tranter "to be erected over the south pylons of the Harbour Bride like? The Harbour Bride? che cosa?" and then follows a draft of the poem which was later published as 'The Harbour Bride'. I'll leave it to the scholars to determine if this is the first draft.

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