Launch of Only in Silence and Eucalypt 24

On Saturday, 12th May 2018, a large number of poets and other interested people retreated from the congestion of Saturday morning traffic to the quiet upstairs room at the Beecroft Children’s Bookshop.  They were gathered to celebrate the launch of Beverley George’s latest book Only in Silence and also the #24 edition of Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal, editor Julie Thorndyke.

Only in Silence, a collection of tanka sequences by Beverley George, (two written with collaborators),  translated by Aya Yuhki, first appeared in The Tanka Journal, a bilingual publication of Nihon Kajin Club, the Japan Tanka Poets’ Society.

This elegant book, with striking cover artwork by Ron C. Moss, was launched by Julie Thorndyke.

Some of Julie’s words were: ‘In this unique bilingual book, we can enjoy Beverley’s poetic voice and reflect on her influential work in Australian haiku and tanka… Beverley’s voice is clear and resonant.  It seems that her thoughts lead her always, through contemplation of tangible places and things, to the inner secrets of the heart…Beverley is an acute observer of life, with an innate sense of the meaning and melody to be found in small things…Each poem is fresh and pertinent, with new thoughts and authentic emotions.’

Julie read a message of congratulations from Aya Yuhki, the president of the International Tanka Society, who wrote of her valued friendship with Beverley and also of her admiration and appreciation of what Beverley has contributed to Tanka in Australia, Japan and worldwide.  Aya Yuhki wrote ‘I would like to indicate strongly that all her tanka are able to be translated in the fixed-form of Japanese tanka beautifully. Many congratulations.’

From overseas came messages of congratulations from Maria Steyn, Carol Raisfeld, Dorothy McLaughlin, Kirsty Karkow and Michael McClintock.

From the two sequences, written in collaboration with Beverley and others, several poets read, to the enjoyment of the gathered group.

In summing up, Julie spoke about the words of universal truth in the poems.  She said, ‘This poetry collection will ensure that Beverley’s tanka are alive in the minds of readers for years to come.’



Several poets were present to read from this issue of Eucalypt edited by Julie Thorndyke.

The meditative sound of the Hamon, (slit drum), set the scene and the outside world disappeared as poets’ words honoured nature and the human condition in all its forms.  The rhythm of the ancient waka (Japanese song), now known as tanka (short song) was heard and remarked upon even by listeners unfamiliar with this genre.

It was very pleasing to hear new voices amongst the poets and to see some more on the pages, a testament to Julie’s foresight in keeping this superb art form alive.

Julie continues the work of producing a varied collection of poems, thoughtfully grouped together and interspersed with the clever illustrations by Pim Sarti and with professional design and layout by Matthew George.

The launch of Eucalypt #24 concluded the event followed by morning tea and the warm buzz of catching up.

Catherine Smith


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