This is an anthology of New Zealand poetry and prose centered around the theme of ‘LOVE’. It is ordered chronologically, by the ages of the poets when the poems were written.
The book starts with ‘WHEN SHE SPEAKS’ by A. R. D. Fairburn and ends with ‘HE WAIATA MO TE KARE’ by James K. Baxter.
If you have not read this poem yet…I urge you, rush to your nearest library and find it! You can get either this book or another James K. Baxter anthology (e.g James K. Baxter poems, selected by Sam Hunt). It is the most evocative and honest love poem I have ever come across. A ballad of ten irregular stanzas, it lays bare Baxter’s love for his wife after her death and ends with these words:
“Earlier today I cut thistles
Under the trees in the graveyard,
And washed my hands afterwards,
Sprinkling the sickle with water.
That’s the life I lead,
Simple as a stone,
And all that makes it less than good, Te Kare,
is that you are not beside me.”
Other poets and authors featured in this anthology include: Bill Manhire, Hone Tuwhare, Elizabeth Nannestad, C.K Stead and Lauris Edmond.