Like many readers I’ve been drawn to expressions of compassion during the aftermath of the senseless killings of fifty members of the Muslim community at two mosques in Christchurch. Drawn to the exceptional words of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the spare, buoyant poem for Christchurch “Lenticular Cloud” (Poem, March 23-29) from TSP poet laureate Maxine Beneba Clarke. Each offers some consolation. Ardern, in fact, may be activating the compression of poetry in writing “they are us” when she signs the national condolence book. And Clarke’s “great spotted kiwi [who] … when she births … bring[s] … new life to otautahi, aoteoroa” is a comforting image to dwell on. Compassionate public discourse coming from a place of deep humanity that can unite us all is needed now on both sides of the ditch.
– Sally Denshire, Albury, NSW
Letters, The Saturday Paper, March 30-April 5, 2019, p. 14.
Johannes Keulemens, 1872, “Little Spotted Kiwi — Apteryx Owenii”
Part of the Art Collection of the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa.
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