Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Tuesday Poem this week: The Gift by C K Stead
This week, Tuesday Poem delves into C.K. Stead's brand new collection The Yellow Buoy (AUP) and gives the reader two poets for the price of one: The Gift is about Stead's friendship with the late Allen Curnow.
As this week's editor, Mary McCallum says, 'The Gift skips into its subject with its thirteen-syllabled tercets - the delight and sense of mischief, palpable. And it takes them off, the two poets - both geniuses of a kind - to the place of 'touch-and-go tides', in a way that makes me think of the marvellous poem by Bill Manhire, Opoutere, an elegy to friend and fellow writer Michael King who died suddenly, leaving behind another place of tides and fish. These sorts of insights into the lives of prominent NZ writers and their work - our writing history, if you like - I find fascinating. But it's also a lyrical poem about two blokes who hung out in the way blokes in this country do.'
She says the whole collection is anchored by Stead's poems about his friendships with other writers alive and dead and these are in conversation with poems that deal 'playfully, curiously, stoically' with old age and what it brings. She also points out that Stead is no stranger to literary controvery and he hasn't avoided it in his new book with a short poem that is a retort to one written by Vincent O'Sullivan.
Check out The Gift and the commentary and then flick to the sidebar to read Tuesday Poems posted by 30 Tuesday Poets around the world.