Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Kevin Ireland Poetry Competition - runner up poem by Siobahn Harvey
The teacher’s teachers
out clock-stopping days of old, their lessons
upon their students’ memories, as chalk on
or pen on paper, learned rote and handed down
generations along with division, subtraction
ball and stick: all that labour as unforgiving
buckled belt or worn-out tennis pump;
that ancestry, like quill and ink, readily dismissed today.
in our electronic new age where font purifies scribble,
destroys talk, and the teacher’s teachers are laid, like poems
Shelley, Coleridge and Keats, to rest, something’s lost.
teacher’s teachers who abandoned everything
communes, free-love, free-range kids and writing
of cadent, exquisite words; who remembers them?
cares for those whose sabbaticals built barricades
Bastion Point, whose songs of protests carried as far
’81, back to RugbyPark and Molesworth Street?
those named after goddesses, who became
at Otago and Harvard, wrote books about
mutilation of women, repaired to parliament
they outlawed genetic modification and ended
days shoplifting in Porirua; who remembers them?
ethereal, empty classrooms, the forgotten look down
us, puzzled by our ‘no winners, no losers’, resource rich, child-
lifelong learner, global citizen, generously budgeted epoch.
ring. Still the forgotten wait for us to look up to them
observe their versatility and their extremes. Footnote: Full details on winner and runners-up on blog yesterday