Monday 15 September 2008


Have drifted away from poetry again, reading prose. So silly, I should focus on poetry for the moment.

Found a lovely poem by Elizabeth Smither on the web, in The Listener, (July 21-27, 2007, Vol 209, No 3506) entitled Plaits:

I had two plaits: one thick,

an anaconda plait, and the other

more like a thin grass snake.

For copyright reasons, I can't put the whole thing, though it is not very long. Here are the last one and a half lines: though I could not see justice,

I could feel how it was distributed.

For the full poem, go here.

* * *

Last Monday, attended the annual reading of poetry and prose by creative writing students of the MA programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University (commonly known here as "Bill Manhire's programme").

Lynn Jenner read two impressive poems, both anti-war. One of them is about her thoughts after the birth of her son, thoughts of cutting off part of his index finger to ensure that he may never be able to shoot - "a Russian thought". People were impressed.

The second half of the readings is today.

* * *

Listening to a recording of Bill Manhire reading his poetry at Whitireia on Thursday was a stimulating exercise - was able to write four poems in succession immediately afterwards - no idea what they are worth at this stage. The best stimulus for writing poetry is to be exposed to it, again and again.

So searched for and found a collection of 3 CDs of poetry read by the poets themselves, including Dylan Thomas and May Sarton, from the central library in Wellington.

Central Library at night
Wellington Central Library - photo from their website

I love the central library, not just the books, but the building and the service - time and again I have taken out a book that was a "Librarian's Choice", and it has proven a joy - think Per Petersen's In the wake - so I now trust them (almost) completely.

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