(December 25, 2015) Antigone. Poem by Jack Ross. Design by Bronwyn Lloyd. Pania Singles 3. Auckland: Pania Press, 2015.

Every Christmas Bronwyn makes a special edition of one of Jack's poems or stories. This year she picked the poem "Antigone." If you're not familiar with Greek mythology, Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. The poor woman attempted to secure a respectable burial for her brother and the King punished her by entombing her alive.

The poem references the story obliquely by talking about a visit to a former colonial prison in Tasmania and his experience in one of the tiny cells. You can find it below. It's best to read across the columns - first the left one, then the right.

You can find further details about the project here, at Mosehouse Studio, and there are further bibliographical details at Works & Days.


Tomb, bridal-chamber, eternal prison in the caverned rock, whither go to find mine own?
– R. C. Jebb

When I woke up in
the melancholy city
everything was the colour of rain        all of the garish
of the previous evening
obscured by
the pitter-patter
of dread                                          The books I was reading
dissolved into pulp
those volumes of
lapidary thoughts
intangible as fog
as that happiness                              oh so elusive
what’s new
you say
Once in Tasmania
at an old colonial prison
I walked into one of the cells             there was no-one around
so I closed the door
just to feel what it was like
I lasted two seconds
people go mad
they say                                          Imagine a room
a white room
no doors
no chairs
too narrow
to sit down                                      too low
to stand
my marriage bed

& here are some illustrations of the finished product:


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