Friday, January 16, 2009


Robyn Marsack introduces Ian Wedde

I was re-reading Ian Wedde's Commonplace Odes (AUP ) at a cruising height of 35,000 feet the other week, on the interminable journey from Wellington to Glasgow. It was one way of carrying New Zealand with me: the ‘grave cone' of Taranaki; the smoke of summer barbecues; the blowy wind; the palms on the Picton foreshore; even the honeysuckle vine planted by the poet at the millennium, scenting his backyard as we talked on the last day of 2008.

Writing about this collection of odes, Wedde said that he had rediscovered through this form 'the grand themes in ordinary details: the emotional truth of the commonplace'. Themes and subjects bind these 28 poems together: the comfort and artistry of cooking is one of them:

A good cookbook is as good as a book of poems
Any day, because it can't be any more pretentious
Than the produce you savour with friends as night falls.

Link here for the full piece.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What about 'Beautiful Golden Girl of the Sixties' - one of my favourites.