June 19, 2012

Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems

"I invite you to trespass on the look of love; to move and to sway, to be moved and to be swayed." -- Paula Green. introduction to Dear Heart.

Dear Heart is the title of the entrancing and surprising anthology of New Zealand love poems which Paula Green (co-editor with Harry Ricketts of that other fine book, 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry) has put together with her usual keenness and care.

I say "entrancing and surprising" because I wasn't expecting -- and was entranced by the idea -- that the love poems would have as their objects, besides the classic beloved, a child, an Auntie, a bicycle.

Paula will be presenting her book in the Whare Wānanga at Central Library tomorrow evening. Twelve special-guest poets will be along to celebrate love poetry and Paula's book by reading their work to us. They are Angela Andrews, Janet Charman, Murray Edmond, Riemke Ensing, Kevin Ireland, Stephanie Johnson, Michele Leggott, Renee Liang, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Kiri Piahana-Wong, John Pule and NZ Poet Laureate Ian Wedde.

As happens with love objects, the form of the book is as bewitching as the contents, with illustrations by New Zealand artists Dick Frizzell, Michael Hight, Gregory O'Brien, John Pule and John Reynolds.

The Bicycle
by James Brown

I have always been lucky.
When I was seven
my parents gave me
a red bicycle.

I rode it every day until
it became a part of me.

It had a basket on the front,
and my father attached a bell
to make doing the deliveries
more noticeable.

Pedalling up hills
pushed me so far inside my head
that only reaching the top
could bring me back out.

Going down, my mouth would open
as the world became flocks
of many-coloured birds
soaring into flight.

I loved that bicycle.

Lying in bed listening
to rain sheet against the window
and knowing that tomorrow
it was Monday,

I would get up and go
into the hall and stare at it,
consoled by the standing
of its beautiful silence.

Ditulis Oleh : tosca // 03:00


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