Friday, May 22, 2009

Rain, a poem by Hone Tuwhare.

Hone Tuwhare, (1922–2008), is New Zealand’s most distinguished Maori poet writing in English, and also a playwright and author of short fiction. He spoke Maori until he was nine, and his father, an accomplished orator and storyteller in Maori, encouraged his son’s interest in the written and spoken word, especially in the rhythms and imagery of the Old Testament.
Tuwhare was named New Zealand's second Te Mata Poet Laureate in 1999. At the end of his two year term he published Piggy Back Moon (2001) which was shortlisted in the 2002 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He was among ten of New Zealand's greatest living artists named as Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artists in 2003. Also in 2003, he was awarded one of the inaugural Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement for poetry. He has won two Montana NZ Book Awards, and holds two honorary doctorates in literature.

Rain by Hone Tuwhare.

I can hear you
making small holes
in the silence

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind

the something
special smell of you
when the sun cakes
the ground

the steady
drum-roll sound
you make
when the wind drops

But if I
should not hear
smell or feel or see

you would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me


Anonymous said...

I love poetry of all sorts, and this is one of my favourites - short and very sweet.


Anonymous said...

This poem speaks to the soul.

Jane Norman said...

One of my all time favourites. I can always hear Hone reciting it in my head.