On the English exam

Well I expect I was just as surprised as my nephew was, sitting down in Sydney for the Year 12 English exam, to see a poem by Uncle Warrick on the paper. He said it was a bit surreal. I said he should have listened more attentively to my infrequent family poetry readings.

The poem chosen was ‘Tractor and Father and Child’, a poem of mine that appeared in my book The Colour of Maps, but I expect they found it because it has been anthologised in a collection called ‘Family Ties’, that came out a few years ago.

I didn’t know it was going on the paper, I expect for security reasons, and got a copyright agreement to sign after the event. All in a good cause I suppose, but I’m torn between fascination with what some of the forty thousand young readers doing the exam might have written about this poem, and fear at discovering what they did write! Or that they’ll all look me up and hunt me down for making their life miserable!

I don’t mind the copyright use for education and all that; and I don’t expect that I’ll be paid much, if anything. Still, it would have been nice to have a QR code or something on the exam for all those kids to look at afterwards: ‘Want to read more? Click here to buy Wynne’s poetry’. Now that would be a marketing coup!