Nile, Richard (2015) Moments. Studies in Western Australian History, 29. pp. 27-41.

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‘The Man with the Blue Guitar’ by Wallace Stevens appeared for the first time on 4October 1937 as the title poem of a volume published by A.A. Knopf in New York.1Half a world away and seventy five years later to the day—on 4 October 2012—a reader for whom poetry and this poem in particular held special meaning died in a hospital bed in Perth, Western Australia. Tom Stannage was 68 years of age and had been in coma for just over a week. ‘Placed so, beyond the compass of change / Perceived in a final atmosphere’2by his family, he never regained consciousness. How typically considerate, it seemed from the outside, that this man of generous disposition might hold death at bay long enough for loved ones to share precious final moments. They would have preferred the circumstances to be otherwise, of course, as he lay in a state of ‘equipoise’, a term he had affectionately used to describe Sunday afternoons at home with them at Chester Street, Subiaco. Tom’s last sentient hours had been spent there with Maria, his love of more than forty years. Almost certainly that was as he would have wished, though too soon. Inseparable since courtship in the mid-1960s, Tom and Maria Stannage had, in more recent times, taken to measuring the days in tender affirmation and recollection. Their federation-style house had stood for more than a century in the lee of a magnificent avenue of camphor laurels, jacarandas and peppermint trees. It had been Tom’s childhood home, and was purchased in the early 1980s from his mother. The Stannages’ children, Chris and Kate, were making their way in the world and had children of their own. So, life brimmed with conversations about this one and that one, family outings and gatherings with friends, reading and discussing books, listening to music, viewing art, and tending to the beautiful garden at Chester Street.

Item ID: 46041
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0314-7525
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Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 05:13
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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