Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quake, Talk & Poetry

a) Two nights ago there was a strong earthquake. I came awake to the bed’s shaking thinking if the power goes off I must sit up and take the mask off. It passed. Apparently I slept through the aftershock. Little damage done. But a reminder of the precarious nature of it all.

b) This morning Kim Hill interviewed Marilynne Robinson the author of Housekeeping, Gilead and Home, three novels I have enjoyed very much. Robinson is critical of what she calls modernity, the down-playing of the human mind. She and Kim played around with concepts of theology and the good life – a very thought-provoking discussion.

c) Vince O’Sullivan lent me his copy of Andrew Johnston and Robyn Marsack’s Twenty Contemporary New Zealand Poets. The anthologist in me is always curious about the selection but also in the contents. The glaring omission it seems to me is Johnston himself but I understand his decision. I was surprised to see Curnow included but I see what the editors have done – it’s entirely late Curnow. They have done a good job of the selection of O’Sullivan, Wedde and Manhire. I find Manhire’s elegy to Michael King very moving every time I read it and his The Mountain from the Erubus series is very powerful.

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