Solitude

By Caroline Caddy b. 1944 Caroline Caddy
It’s something they carry with them
                      – explorers  night shifts  seamen –
like a good pair of binoculars
or a camera case
                perfectly and deeply compartmented.
It has a quiet patina
that both absorbs and reflects
                           like a valuable instrument
                                                you have to sign for
 – contract with alone –
                     and at the end of the voyage
                                                          you get to keep.
Sometimes it’s very far away.
Sometimes so close
               at first you think the person next to you
is picking up  putting down
                                 a personal cup
                                    a book in another language
before you realise what
– when talk has moved off
                               leaning its arms
                                       on someone else’s table –
is being
handed to you.

Caroline Caddy, “Solitude” text from Esperance, Fremantle Press, 2007; audio from The Tibetan Cabinet, Audio CD, River Road Press, 2010: by permission of River Road Press and the poet. Copyright © 2007, 2010 by Caroline Caddy.

Source: Esperance (Fremantle Press, 2007)

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Poet Caroline Caddy b. 1944

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Subjects The Mind, Travels & Journeys

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Born in Perth, poet Caroline Caddy grew up in the United States and Japan before returning to Australia as an adult. Caddy’s poems, lingering in the landscapes of China, Antarctica, and western Australia, explore identity through the process of travel and observation. Floating free of the left-hand margins, her poems make use of caesuras to emphasize the connections and gaps between cultures and geographies. “Creating a space . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT The Mind, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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