January 18, 2008

I’d not normally do this

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:32 pm by Chris

reports that Hone Tuwhare has passed away. I’m not hugely familiar
with his work, but what I know of it I liked a lot. I also get the
feeling that his passing marks the beginning of an end for an era. The
world doesn’t seem to be producing poets of his ilk any more.

In honour of Tuwhare’s passing, I’m going to lift a meme, which I
don’t normally do. John at Evolving
has one going about poems that stick in your head. I’ve
memorised a few poems in my time, but most of them I had to sit down
with for an extended period of time. The things that stick in my head
are snatches, short sections that roll of the tongue. I’m a firm
believer that poetry is a spoken art form. Hone Tuwhare had a great
deep Maori voice that rumbled over the vowels of “Oh,
liked a seasoned orator.

There are a couple of poems by Sam Hunt that have snatches like
that. From No exit:

Egmont dropping the the rear view mirror, as you drive drunk with
all love lost in mind

I don’t condone drink-driving, of course. But I don’t condone reading
that to yourself, either: stand up and let that lovely alliteration roll
of your tongue. I feel the same way about Conrad, incidentally, but
people seem to think that’s odd. One more piece of Hunt (from
Naming the Gods) might, I
think, make a fitting end to an obituary.

Ruamoko, earthquake god.

Not that a man dare answer back to a god like that,
Instead fall,
Hug if he can in her turning,
Mother Earth in her pain

There’s more. You can go find the book and read if yourself. Aloud.


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