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Rain from Nowhere lingers on

Sally Bryant, Friday September 6, 2013 - 12:38 EST
Audience submitted image
Comic poet Murray Hartin may be best known as a comic poet but his 2007 poem about depression and suicide prevention has become a standard in many circles. - Audience submitted

In 2007, when things were pretty ordinary for many rural Australians, comic poet Murray Hartin found himself writing a poem that was a bit different from his other work.

For a bloke who is better known for describing a ringer 'riding' a swag the length of a jetliner during a very bumpy ride, or descriptions of his tenuous relationship with the Mr Whippy Man; the topic of depression and suicide is a big departure from the norm.

The poem, which Hartin says was written in a couple of hours and 'just came to him' describes the despair and suicidal thoughts of a young farmer who then receives a timely letter from his father.

Hartin's poem 'Rain from Nowhere' was taken up as a call to arms by communities who wanted to keep depressed landholders from slipping into despair, Murray Hartin found himself enlisted as one of the educational entertainers invited to farm family gatherings.

Now, seven years on, it seems the poem is as popular as ever and not just in the bush.

Murray Hartin says 'Rain from Nowhere' brings the same response in urban crowds.

"It's not just a drought poem; it's a about hardship - hardship and relationships."


© ABC 2013

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