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David Malouf

David Malouf’s poetry and prose appear in HEAT Series 1 and 2.


Epimetheus, or The Spirit of Reflection


We have all heard of Prometheus, great rebel against the gods and bringer to earth of a commodity, fire, which we have depended on from earliest times for much of what makes us human: campfires, cooked meat, the forging of iron into ploughshares, horseshoes, swords. What is not so well known is that Prometheus had a brother, also a titan and demi-god, but as his name suggests quite opposite in nature and habit of thought.

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Mozart to da PonteWords and Music

HEAT 12. Ten Years

Da Ponte, dear friend and collaborator, finder of words for me, this is the letter I shall never write and have always been addressing to you, my side of a conversation that has been in progress since we first began, always faintly to be heard under the music I found to fit your words, or rather, in the gap, which is not always silence, where words and music fail, and must always fail, to connnect; in our case an attempt to move between Italy and our more sober North as if there were no Alps to cross. 

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Buxtehude’s Daughter


She was a strong young woman with a clear sense of her place in the world and she let the candidates, or contestants or suitors, know it, amusing herself by looking on the affair as one of those folk-tales in which a penniless beggar or soldier of fortune tries for the hand of a princess, for a kingdom too, but at the risk of his head.

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The South

HEAT 1. Fire & Shadow

On a soft, sunlit morning in March 1959, just a few days before my twenty-fifth birthday, I stood at the rails of an Italian liner, the Fairsky, and after a five-weeks sea-voyage that had taken me via Singapore, Colombo, Bombay, Aden and Port Said, saw the Bay of Naples open before me, and utterly familiar in the distance the dark slopes and scooped-out cone of Vesuvius – all just as I had always imaged it, like the breaking of a dream.

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