Take an iconic poet, get some of the country’s top contemporary artists to put the lyrics to music and you’ve got “Tuwhare“, a collection curated by Charlotte Yates and quite a wonderful work of art.
Add a video of the man himself – now 85 – being introduced to the work and you’ll got the recipe for magic
O Africa – Goldenhorse from Tuwhare [Listen]
Rain – Don McGlashan fromTuwhare [Listen]
Mad – Charlotte Yates from Tuwhare [Listen]
Speak To Me, Brother – Te Kupu from Tuwhare [Listen]
Friend – Graham Brazier from Tuwhare [Listen]
Rain – Hone Tuwhare from Classic New Zealand Poets In Performance [Listen]
No Ordinary Sun – Hone Tuwhare from Classic New Zealand Poets In Performance [Listen]
And you’ll find the words of “No ordinary sun” inscribed in the Wellington’s Peace Garden, with a flame donated by the people of Hiroshima in recognition of New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance.
All in all, pretty bloody special.
Tree let your arms fall:
raise them not sharply in supplication
to the bright enhaloed cloud.
Let your arms lack toughness and
resilience for this is no mere axe
to blunt nor fire to smother.
Your sap shall not rise again
to the moon’s pull.
No more incline a deferential head
to the wind’s talk, or stir
to the tickle of coursing rain.
Your former shagginess shall not be
wreathed with the delightful flight
of birds nor shield
nor cool the ardour of unheeding
lovers from the monstrous sun.
Tree let your naked arms fall
nor extend vain entreaties to the radiant ball.
This is no gallant monsoon’s flash,
no dashing trade wind’s blast.
The fading green of your magic
emanations shall not make pure again
these polluted skies . . . for this
is no ordinary sun.
in the shadowless mountains
the white plains and
the drab sea floor
your end at last is written.