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The Edge of Things

Ann Gilroy —

by Anne Powell. Published by The Cuba Press, 2018. Reviewed by Ann Gilroy

I love Anne Powell’s poetry. I remember hearing her line “and plains as open as pikelets” read on the radio and feeling transported to my Canterbury childhood. Anne’s poetry inspired our now customary Tui Motu blessing. So I was delighted with this new volume, her fourth, The Edge of Things, with the image of a couple of whitebaiters on the riverbank on the cover.

The 48 poems are shortish, fitting snugly on a page and as the title says, they offer insights about edges such as places, seasons, faiths, decisions, quests, gaps, borders and cultures. They’re evocative ­— wrapping images and feelings in sparse, rich text.

The poems are invitations to see and feel ordinary life differently, to allow it to touch our soul: “Make time to open / the slow door of morning / letting light spill like lemons / over the threshold.” Or “may the leisure of swans / sail across your soul.” Or "Hukanui! / You thunder through the cathedral / cleft of granite / anointing me with your spray / that empowers me to live / the channel carved out for me.”

Keep The Edge of Things on the kitchen table or bedside cabinet. It will delight and nourish equally.

Tui Motu Magazine. Issue 241 September 2019: 31