Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Time for a poem: Old Man Platypus

Old Man Platypus by AB (Banjo) Paterson

Far from the trouble and toil of town,
Where the reed beds sweep and shiver,
Look at a fragment of velvet brown —
Old Man Platypus drifting down,
Drifting along the river.

And he plays and dives in the river bends
In a style that is most elusive;
With few relations and fewer friends,
For Old Man Platypus descends
From a family most exclusive.

He shares his burrow beneath the bank
With his wife and his son and daughter
At the roots of the reeds and the grasses rank;
And the bubbles show where our hero sank
To its entrance under water.
Safe in their burrow below the falls
They live in a world of wonder,
Where no one visits and no one calls,
They sleep like little brown billiard balls
With their beaks tucked neatly under.

And he talks in a deep unfriendly growl
As he goes on his journey lonely;
For he’s no relation to fish nor fowl,
Nor to bird nor beast, nor to horned owl;
In fact, he’s the one and only!

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Today is the first day of the Soup Blog’s Poetry Festival — until the end of August we’ll be posting poems, interviews with children’s poets, tips for reading and writing poetry, and Poetry Prescriptions.

Author:

Rebecca Newman is a children's writer and poet, and the editor of the Australian children's literary blog, Alphabet Soup. rebeccanewman.net.au.