Author(s): Bob Orr
Following his very popular collection, Valparaiso, poet Bob Orr presents his new book Calypso. Orr's poems have a wistful yet forceful beauty, presenting images with depth, colour, light, and the narrative drive and cadences of a true storyteller. In the first of Calypso's four sections, 'Purple Octopus', the poet guides us on a voyage though space and time from Troy to Waiheke to San Francisco to Spain, through poems in which everything - clouds, ants, trains, winds, kites - and everyone are travelling, but only some are lost. In 'Seven Songs and an Anchor' Calypso sings of desks, chairs, bookshelves, typewriters, the ordinary things of the world made extraordinary. In the third section, he writes movingly of his family and his past with great simplicity and feeling. Finally, in 'Cicada Summer', Orr closes with short, intensely New Zealand lyrics combining the everyday with a visionary sense of mystery and wonder.
Bob Orr has published six previous collections of poems, three of those with Auckland University Press. Born in Hamilton in 1949 and raised in the rural Waikato, Orr moved to Auckland and became prominent among the poets associated with Freed magazine in the early 1970s. He now divides his time between the Coromandel and Auckland, where he works as a boatman on the Waitemata Harbour.