Friday favourites from the long white cloud – Aotearoa* poetry


Australia was recently visited by New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. At the end of her visit some wag commented that ‘Australia has a smart, progressive Prime Minister with a firm vision of the future; unfortunately, she’s returning to New Zealand later this week.’

Which leads me to the February edition of  Poetry Magazine featuring new New Zealand poetry. A favourite (listen to the Audio if you can) is Tim Upperton’s

The truth about Palmerston North

People like to mock my town, they mock it
for being too provincial and too boring
and it’s true, not much of import happens here
but I don’t mind. Some people say, when they are asked
what they like about Palmerston North,
that you can always find a park and that’s true,
too, you can always find a park just a short walk
from where you want to go, sometimes right outside,
you don’t have to walk at all, you’re right there…

Among rich and varied contributions I liked: Anna Jackson, Bees, so many beesthe collaborative poetry of Gregory O’Brien and John Puhiatau – Song of the Coral Brain and the wry What to Do If You Find a Dead Hobbit in Your Garden by Murray Edmond.
Go visit and be impressed.

Image: Sunbathers at the Moeraki Boulders, Otago, March 1969. Photographer, D Nicholson, Archives of New Zealand. Flickr. * Aotearoa is the Maori name for the country of New Zealand. The literal translation of Aotearoa is “land of the long white cloud”.

And here’s the NZ String Quartet playing Salina Fisher’s Tōrino – echoes on pūtōrino improvisations by Rob Thorne.

One thought on “Friday favourites from the long white cloud – Aotearoa* poetry

  1. I have a sun-bleached gnome that’s ready for protected status, and possibly the Paralympic Games, having lost a foot when knocked for six by a grey squirrel. Incidentally, this is in reference to the Hobbit delight…

    Liked by 1 person

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