Author(s): Lauris Edmond
Shortlisted for the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, Poetry section. A last collection by a much-loved poet, this was accepted for publication just before Lauris Edmond's death in January 2000. Inevitably there are poems, poised and calm, about death. But there are many also about new life: her grandchildren, travel scenes, love in old age; and amusement and delight balance more sombre meditations. The 'Poems for Miss Black' sequence, addressed to a friend in prison, explores the paradoxes of confinement and isolation for a woman and a mother and is something of a new departure. Personal, lyrical, reflective, the poems in this last book always imply the presence of others, often addressing them directly: My song is of the generations, it echoes the old dialogue of the years; it is the tribal chorus that no one may sing alone. Late Song It's a still morning, quiet and cloudy the kind of grey day I like best; they'll be here soon, the little kids first, creeping up to try and frighten me, then the tall young men, the slim boy with the marvellous smile, the dark girl subtle and secret; and the others, the parents, my children, my friends -- and I think: these truly are my weather my grey mornings and my rain at night, my sparkling afternoons and my birdcall at daylight; they are my game of hide and seek, my song that flies from a high window. They are my dragonflies dancing on silver water. Without them I cannot move forward, I am a broken signpost, a train fetched up on a small siding, a dry voice buzzing in the ears; for they are also my blunders and my forgiveness for blundering, my road to the stars and my seagrass chair in the sun. They fly where I cannot follow and I -- I am their branch, their tree. My song is of the generations, it echoes the old dialogue of the years; it is the tribal chorus that no one may sing alone.
Shortlisted for Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Poetry Category 2001.