When it comes to romance poetry is the language of love right? Apparently, our poets have a very dark approach to the subject of love according to journalist Bronwyn Sell who had been asked to find a New Zealand poem to read at a friend’s wedding. If you have time please read her entire article. The anthology “Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems” edited by poet Paula Green and published in 2012 provided hope for Bronwyn and the rest of us with some hope for kiwi romance.
Green was interviewed by Sell and she gave these recommendations for the best New Zealand poem for these romantic scenarios. I have included links wherever I could…
Best poem to read at a wedding: Jenny Bornholdt’s ‘Wedding song‘
Best poem for young lovers: Rachel McAlpine’s ‘Love Song‘
Best poem to read to your husband before you fall asleep: Karlo Mila’s ‘For the father of my children’ or Anna Jackson’s ‘The treehouse‘
Best poem for a golden wedding anniversary: ‘You‘ by C K Stead
Best poem for a grandchild or child: ‘A Lullaby’ by Bill Manhire or ‘Newborn’ by Emma Neale
Best break-up poem: ‘The Photograph‘ by Alison Wong
Best poem for Mother’s Day: ‘My Mother Dances‘ by Albert Wendt or ‘My Mother’s Voice‘ by Ingrid Horrocks or ‘White Gold‘ by Jenny Powell
Best poem for Father’s Day: Sam Hunt’s ‘A new plateau song’ or ‘The bird’ by Glenn Colquhoun
Best poem for grieving: ‘Because‘ by Sarah Broom or Peter Bland’s ‘Tell me you’re waiting‘
Best poem to read when your lover is not beside you: Brian Turner’s ‘Dream‘
I hope you find a poem that you like and that you enjoy a few New Zealand poets.
New Zealand also has some prolific Romance novelists. The Romance Writers of New Zealand is an incorporated society and was founded in 1990 to promote excellence in romance writing and the romance genre and help writers become published and establish careers by providing networking, support, information and resources. They hold conferences and competitions. They have an impressive and growing list of first-time novelists being published and gaining international recognition. One of the founders of the Association Daphne Clair, pen name of Daphne de Jong, has made quite an impact in the field of romance novels both in New Zealand and in the USA. In her essay in Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992), entitled “Sweet Subversions” Daphne Clair writes that romance novels are not the stuff of women enslaving themselves to men but in fact the “Subversive literature of sexual politics”. She has a reputation for writing with a feminist edge.
Poems or romance novels, there are great opportunities for kiwis to find romance on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year.
Amanda Bond is a New Zealand ex-pat currently working as Teacher Librarian in an international school in Istanbul, Turkey. Her twitter handle is @kiwionthego