The Big Dry

Jaime Murcia

At Wycheproof, in northern Victoria, hopes raised by good rain last year were dashed by a long dry

Early last year, the bush storyteller Murray Hartin penned a 14-stanza poem in three hours flat. Rain From Nowhere is about a farmer on the brink of ruin who receives an empathetic letter from his father. A celebration of resilience and hope, it is as moving a piece of Australian verse as has been published in decades. It's also pertinent. The driest continent on earth is in the grip of the worst drought in its recorded history. Beginning in 2002 and spanning, at times, the breadth of the country, the dry spell has pushed farmers to the...

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