Did you know that Sydney has a dedicated Writers Walk?
It displays a series of over forty-five plaques containing a snatch of an author’s thoughts about the Australian land and its people together with a brief bio of the writer.
Despite having visited the site of the Walk (it sweeps around Circular Quay from the Opera House to beyond the Museum of Contemporary Art) at least – oh – maybe two or three times a year for the past twenty-five years and despite having, in all likelihood, walked by several of the plaques on each occasion, it’s completely passed me by. And I suspect nearly everyone who’s visited Sydney has walked this walk, but most of us have never seen it.
Truth be told, my pedantic writer’s streak is a little uncomfortable with the missing apostrophe in the large bronze tablet announcing Writers Walk because you couldn’t possibly interpret it to mean that ‘writers walk’. They don’t. They’re much too busy scribbling away in their attic, all alone, hunched over a manuscript.
But despite my misgivings about a monument that’s dedicated to writers and yet contains a punctuation error, once the site was drawn to my attention, a visit was essential.
#44 Meander along Sydney Writers Walk
If I were to post an image of every one of these neglected bronze gems, it would overwhelm this blog entry, so allow me to present a small sample of the witty, the poignant, the prescient or the just plain irreverent comments made by so many great writers who have visited our country or were born here.
Just for fun, I’ve added a modern Australian visual match.
…tho’ it seems that ‘the whole people’s’ representatives aren’t trying too hard to work it out .
3. Ethel Turner
Hey, who’d wear a bike helmet when there’s no-one around?
…still knocks you endways
5. Charles Darwin
…reflections of the old and the new grandeur
6. Rudyard Kipling
We’ll do wonderful things…some day
7. Barry Humphries
…feels like home to me
So now you’re possibly asking, ‘How have I missed noticing the Writers Walk?’
Well, here’s a clue:
If writers had ball skills instead of verbal skills, would more people notice what’s underfoot?
The plaques are all in-laid – in the footpath. And shooing away hordes of oblivious tourists to get the perfect photograph of each plaque wasn’t easy!
So now you know where it is, I hope this has given you a tantalising taste of what’s on show at the Sydney Writers Walk.