Poet Merle Glasson dies

MEMBERS of the Fellowship of Australian Writers Hastings Region are mourning the death of the area's most renowned poet, Merle Glasson. Over eight decades her poetry has delighted her colleagues with its incisive comments, class- ical illusions and wry humour.

Her many books of poetry included Landscapes 1982, Woman on the Verandah 1984, Gently Jolting Back to Earth 1986, then and There 1996 and Summing Up 2000.

Her Selected Poems attracted a Literary Arts Board grant in 1988.

Perhaps her finest literary achievement was to win the Grenfell Henry Lawson statuette for poetry twice, 25 years apart, in 1968 while a member of the Blue Mountains Region, and in 1993 as a member of Hastings.

A poet from age nine, a graduate of Sydney University, a teacher and a mother, she was awarded an honorary fellowship by her fellow writers. Ever enthusiastic she enjoyed her 90th birthday in January 2002 and was delighted when, in June this year the Port Macquarie Express published a front page spread on her achievements and reproduced the poem she wrote for Queen Elizabeth in 1954. This poem was originally published by The Bulletin under the non-de-plume Agnes Millrose because Merle was anxious not to offend her husband who did not share her fascination with poetry.

Over the years she experimented with modern verse as well as traditional rhyming and Australian bush verse and even a novel and a play, but she never lost what she described as her "true, mad, deep love of words".

Merle Glasson's funeral service will be celebrated in the Chapel of the Innes Gardens Memorial Park Crematorium on Wednesday at 2pm.