The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been updated to reflect new acquisitions January-August 2019.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past few years. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

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The 35th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Winter 2019, Volume 9, issue 3:  Laura Solomon (1974-2019) by Mark Pirie; National Poetry Day poem: Farewell to a Poet by Michael Duffett (USA); obituary: Michael Duffett (1943-2019); poetry by Marion Rego; new publications by PANZA members; letter to the editor; David Eggleton appointed NZ Poet Laureate; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

This year’s National Poetry Day is being held on Friday, 23 August 2019.
PANZA has chosen a rare poem in memory of the New Zealand poet, typographer, publisher and wit Denis Glover (1912-1980).
The poem, ‘Farewell to a Poet’ is by the UK-born American poet and Professor Michael Duffett, who himself passed away on 9 July this year. Two months prior to Duffett’s death, his book The Presence of Love: Poems Selected and New had been released in New Zealand by my publishing company HeadworX. It’s nice to remember both of these poets on National Poetry Day in New Zealand, and recall their friendship.
Duffett once wrote: “[New Zealand] remains unique in my memory as the one land in my travels about which I have exclusively positive memories.” New Zealand turns up in Michael Duffett’s most well-known book of poetry, Forever Avenue, published in California in 1987.
Duffett visited New Zealand in 1979 and spent some time with Denis Glover in the final year of his life. Duffett visited him again a few weeks before his death in 1980.

On my return from the South Island, I spent time in Wellington with Denis Glover, to whom I instantly warmed. He was a force of nature, a booming laugh, a great bright alcoholically-reddened nose like Mr. Punch and an irresistible cheerful manner. I recall a visit to the bank with him and, on being asked by a timid young lady bank clerk how he would like his cash, he boomed in reply, “Any way at all, my dear. It all goes down the drain.” I have come to see that as an absolutely accurate assessment of the meaning of money.
On another occasion when Denis had cajoled my services to drive him to the Alexander Turnbull Library, I drove to his home. Denis lived in a curiously-designed house that had a bathroom on one side of the living room and a bedroom on the other. As I arrived (early, or maybe Denis was late) his wife Lyn hurried into the garden to meet me. I later realised it was to forestall me from bumping into a semi-clad poet on the way from bathroom to bedroom. Denis, to whom embarrassment was unknown, knew what Lyn was up to and bellowed from inside the house, “Let the bloody man come in if he’s here!”
Moments later, I sat with a cup of tea in the living room, the bathroom door opened and there was the great poet in his skivvies, giving me the naval salute to his Russian Commander’s hat (a gift from the Soviets). I wish I had had a camera!

Michael Duffett’s poem is of interest because it explores (with empathy) Glover’s decline. His official biographer Gordon Ogilvie, in Denis Glover: His Life (1999), recounts that Glover had fallen down steps during his shift to Breaker Bay Road from Strathmore, which led to his eventual death (four days later), with his wife Lyn by his bedside on Saturday, 9 August 1980. Yet Michael Duffett presents the further view of a Glover in decline, slipping in his bath. Duffett too acknowledges closely the coroner’s official view that Glover’s death was ‘bronchopneumonia’ from the effects of liver disease brought on by his drinking. Duffett appears to be a person or friend in the know.
The image of Glover being “innocent and free” in his death sums up perfectly the complexity of Glover’s persona and life, and is a profound image of Denis Glover, the man and myth.
It’s remarkable that an outside voice from overseas could come away with such an apt description of Glover, after only knowing him a short while. Michael Duffett shows the value of overseas commentators on New Zealand literature.

FAREWELL TO A POET

Once back in Wellington I rendezvous’d
With Glover, took him snoring home one day
Squeezed in the back. “Is that Denis Glover
You’ve got in there?” (as if I’d kidnapped
A national figure) the petrol-pump
Attendant asked, amazed. I took him home,
Arranged to take him into town next day.
I did and as we parted, fierce yet fond
And fondling yellow eyes gleamed at me,
Knowing they were seeing me forever.
We never met again; he must have known it.
Dear Denis, human man, fell in his bath
A few weeks later, and never rose again,
Went back to his Maker at that moment
As he came, as innocent and free
As naked, striding, new-born babe.

Poem © Michael Duffett, 2019

Article © Mark Pirie

Portrait of Denis Glover, 1973. Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: 1/4-021052-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22828773

 

The 34th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Spring 2019, Volume 9, issue 2: W. Francis Chambers (1876-1954) by Rowan Gibbs; comment on Lynne Frith; report on PANZA Exhibition and Robin Hyde plaque; obituary: P V Reeves (1927-2019); poetry by Margaret Jeune; new publications by PANZA members; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The 33rd issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Spring 2018, Volume 9, issue 1: Doreen Price (1900-1947) by Rowan Gibbs; In memoriam: Jill Chan, 1973-2018; National Poetry Day poem: My Homage to Pinetree by Tula Regos; report: Winter Readings 2018; poetry by C.A.J. Williams; new publications by PANZA members; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been updated to reflect new acquisitions July-October 2018.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past few years. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

This year’s National Poetry Day is being held on Friday, 24 August 2018.
PANZA has chosen a rare rugby poem, ‘My Homage to Pinetree’ by Tula Regos, in celebration of the late Sir Colin Meads, who passed away last year. The poem is among the poetry donations recorded at the New Zealand Rugby Museum which I have recently written about in the latest issue of Poetry Notes, Winter 2018.  Thanks to Stephen Berg, the Director, for help in locating the poems.
The poem about Pinetree records the unofficial retirement of Meads, when he turned out for a President’s side in 1973 and defeated the All Blacks. Yet another fitting addendum to the Meads legend. The previous year he withdrew from the 1972 All Black trials, which signalled the end of his career.
The poet is Tula Regos, a Manawatu local, obviously writing under a pseudonym, and we are currently unable to find out who he was, as the name of the poet isn’t recorded with the poem donations by the New Zealand Rugby Museum. There are a sizable number of his poems held by the Museum (at least 36 donations recorded, and some are multiple poems covering individual test series), and Regos seems to have written mostly on and recorded All Blacks matches, 1972-84. There are poems on the Manawatu team as well.
A Papers Past search revealed that “Regos” is Turkish for “troubadour”.
On the President’s game itself, Alex Veysey’s indispensable biography of Meads from 1974 contains a photo of the President’s team. It includes former All Blacks Sid Going (Vice-Captain), Brian Lochore and Graham Thorne, a star in the backline. No doubt a more than handy and capable side to take on the current All Blacks that year.

 

New Zealand rugby union president’s team of 1973. Crown Studios Ltd: Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/2-190755-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22583350

 

Veysey writes: “One of the most affecting happenings in all of rugby occurred at Athletic Park, Wellington, on August 4, 1973, when Meads led the New Zealand Rugby Union President’s Invitation XV against the All Blacks. Though it was never officially stated, the occasion was taken by everyone – the great crowd, the players and, to be sure, the administrators – as being a tribute to Meads. For Meads himself, it was unreal. There he was, the supreme patriot of New Zealand rugby, leading his cosmopolitan side to victory over the team bearing the name he cherished most – the All Blacks. He found it difficult to walk into the All Black dressing room to pay his respects. He said ‘I’m sorry you lost.’ He doubts that many believed he meant it.  But it came from the heart.”
Here is Tula Regos’s poem on the famous game and moment in New Zealand Rugby.

MY HOMAGE TO PINETREE

The mighty All Black team went down
To the President’s Fifteen.
It was really Champagne Rugby,
A pleasure to be seen.
With Pinetree as their skipper,
Fourteen more famous guys.
The President’s Fifteen went out
And scored six mighty tries.
They thrilled the forty thousand fans
Who cheered them all the way
And when Varo scored the last try
It really made their day.
The old campaigners they were called
On radio and Tee Vee.
But it took the old campaigners
To show some strategy.
Now it takes a gang of Lumberjacks
To fell some old Pinetrees,
Yet a team of mighty All Blacks
Could not fell that gang of Meads’.
At the end of play when in his speech
He told them with a grin,
That he was sad to beat the side
He’d always helped to win.
Now this was all a mighty bluff,
He said it for a lark,
A return game he will skipper
This week at Eden Park.
We wish him well and hope once more
He really calls their bluff
When he proves that old campaigners
Are made of better stuff.
Whichever way the game may go,
We still will all agree
We will never find a forward
To replace our OLD PINETREE.

Poem © Tula Regos 1973

Article © Mark Pirie

Colin Earl Meads. Ref: 1/2-207960-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22737724

The 32nd issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Winter 2018, Volume 8, issue 4: Rugby poetry at the NZ Rugby Museum by Mark Pirie; classic New Zealand poetry by Honor Gordon Holmes (1911-1953); Paul McCartney 2017 Auckland concert poem by Michael O’Leary; comment on the poetry of Dan Davin by Niel Wright; poetry by Mark Young (Australia/NZ); donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been updated to reflect new acquisitions January-June 2018.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past few years. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

The 31st issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Spring 2017, Volume 8, issue 3: J G Brown: An account by Mark Pirie; classic New Zealand poetry by Bessie L Heighton (1884-1959); comment on Forty Years of Titirangi Poets edited by Ron Riddell; Launch report: Karl Wolfskehl letters by Niel Wright; poetry by Damian Ruth; new publications by PANZA member; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.