Australia’s Judith Wright wasn’t your average poet. Passionately committed to environmental causes and the plight of Indigenous Australians for most of her 85 years, her poetry is consequently riven by binary oppositions: humankind verses the environment, Aborigines verses Europeans, the inner world verses the outer, words verses reality.
So it will come as no surprise that ‘With Love and Fury’ isn’t your average song cycle.
Donald Knowler first heard of the Glass Bottom Bus tour when he came to Tasmania more than a decade ago. The idea of tourists viewing vast numbers of animals squashed on the bitumen – an ironic in-joke among the wildlife and tourism fraternity – inspired him to compile his own checklist of what lay flattened on the island’s highways and byways. The journey led him to dead Tasmania devils and quolls…but also to the work of scientists researching the scale of the toll and looking at measures to reduce the carnage which results in an animal dying every two minutes on Tasmania’s roads. Riding the Devil’s Highway presents an itinerary for such a tour and a field guide to the flattened fauna of Tasmania – the roadkill capital of the world.
(Apologies … video quality’s not as high as I’d have hoped. Ralph)