“Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle”. Denis Glover’s classic poem The Magpies has inspired Dick Frizzell illustrations, a play, onomatopoeia spats, and this 1974 short film, produced by publisher Alister Taylor. It centres around Glover musing on Magpies in his smoky Terrace flat, in an interview made by Glover’s son Rupert. Bookending the interview are two readings of the poem by director Martyn Sanderson. Sanderson’s classic voice scores scenes of rural decay, and animation interpreting the tragedy of Tom and Elizabeth (the farming couple whose dreams go bad).
I don’t consider myself a good poet, but I do think writing poetry takes less room on the page than prose. And takes longer to write.– Denis Glover