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An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow Summary & Analysis
by Les Murray

"An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow" was written by the Australian poet Les Murray in 1969. The poem is set amidst the hustle and bustle of 1960s Sydney, which momentarily grinds to a halt due to the presence of a man openly weeping in a main square. The inhabitants of Sydney are by turns fascinated, moved, and appalled by the crying man. The man, for his part, is an ambiguous figure—someone who on the one hand seems like a kind of prophet or Christ-like savior, but on the other seems to be exactly what he looks like: a person crying, who doesn't have any "words" or "messages" to offer the onlookers. Above all, he seems to represent the ability to deeply feel and openly express emotion—something that the poem implies has been stifled by the busy modern world.

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