Home - what says it best for you?

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Home - what says it best for you?

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Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 6, 2008, 9:11 am

New Zealanders have written some beautiful literature about our country, our homeland. So I'm wondering if you'd like to share some of the words that really depict what NZ is for you. Poetry, prose, whichever. So, please, share away!

For me home is about the green, and the rugged. The wild that isn't quite tamed despite the last 150 years. (Girl from the 'Naki here).

Lake, Mountain, Tree is an anthology that I dip into from time to time, and I always find something that tugs at the old heart-strings and makes me feel really connected to the land. I love that, because I live in yucky old Auckland heh, right near the city. I need my reminders of the earth. Here's a poem that says it all, to me:

The Womb by Apirana Taylor (1980)

Your fires burnt my forests
leaving only the charred bones
of totara rimu and kahikatea

Your ploughs like the fingernails
of a woman scarred my face
It seems I became a domestic giant

But in death
you settlers and farmers
return to me
and I suck on your bodies
as if they are lollipops

I am the land
the womb of life and death
Ruamoko the unborn God
rumbles within me
and the fires of Ruapehu still live

eta - a 'u' ran away and left an 'a' in its place, but I dragged it back...

heinäkuu 8, 2008, 6:19 am

I wasn't born in Dunedin, and I haven't lived there since 1993 - but, much as I love Wellington, Dunedin is still my personal centre of gravity. Here's a poem from All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens that tries to say this.


There is nothing brighter than a Dunedin spring.
So bright it hurts: each flower
imprinting itself on the eye.

Back from England, I'm saying I love you
under my breath on the bus.
I love you, vivid green
and you, steepest streets.

Even McDonald's
is the best McDonald's in the world.

Of course it can't last. Three days
of freezing drizzle see to that.
Lord, I hate those easterlies!

But they pass: and Dunedin
steams lightly in the sun
as the gutters
dazzle their way to the sea.

heinäkuu 19, 2008, 12:28 am

There's a sentence in Sole Survivor: "Wellington lifted me and blew me about."

heinäkuu 20, 2008, 12:51 am

As a Wellingtonian the one that still amuses me after seeing it many times is the quote from Denis Glover which I first "discovered" when it was included on the writers' walk along the harbour's edge:

The harbour is an ironing board:
flat-iron tugs dash smoothing toward
any shirt of a ship, any pillowslip
of a freighter they decree
must be ironed flat as washing from the sea.

I still think it's such a brilliant image.

heinäkuu 24, 2008, 9:40 pm

As a southern New Zealander, whose natural habitat has always been the hills and mountains of South Westland, Otago, and Fiordland, my vote goes to Denis Glover's epic poem sequence Arawata Bill.