News and Information – Librarians vote for a favorite New Zealand poem to celebrate National Poetry Day
The haunting and evocative composition by one of New Zealand’s most distinguished poets was a favorite of the librarians who operate the 14 branches of the Wellington City Library.
National Poetry Day is a national poetry celebration, dedicated to showcasing and discovering New Zealand poets, sharing poetry and experiencing the joy of writing and speaking. Wellington City Libraries are marking the day with a poetry recital by Rogelio Guedea at the Johnsonville Library at the Waitohi hub.
Number One: “Rain” by Hone Tuwhare
The poem “Rain” is found in “Twelve Poems” by Hone Tuwhare (1922 – 2008), which was published by Otakou Press in 2007. The publication is available in the City of Wellington Library Collections. A favorite for all ages, Tuwhare’s poem famously ends with the memorable lines:
“But if I shouldn’t
feel you or feel you or see you
You still want
wash over me
Top 5 Favorite New Zealand Poems
*survey of City of Wellington librarians
1) “Rain” by Hone Tuwhare
2) ‘On the construction site of a new library’ by JC Sturm
3) ‘The Maori Jesus’ by James K. Baxter
4) ‘The Magpies’ by Denis Glover
5) ‘Pyramid Scheme’ by Hera Lyndsay Bird
All of these poems can be read in publications available in the collections of Wellington City Libraries.
Poetry – inspiring knowledge and human values
Laurenda Thomas, Director of Libraries and Community Spaces says, “Wellington City Libraries are delighted to celebrate National Poetry Day. Our mission is to connect our communities to knowledge, wonder and possibility – and poetry, like any other form of artistic creation, plays an essential role in our society by inspiring and transmitting knowledge and human values.
“The Collections of the City of Wellington Libraries cover a wide range of poetry, available to borrow in books or digitally. We are proud to hold hundreds of volumes of New Zealand poetry, written by well-known and lesser-known poets. We have over 1000 New Zealand poetry books to read or borrow.
“We are fortunate to have many published poets on our current and former staff, with a poem by Jacquie Sturm (1927 – 2009), who was a prominent Wellington City librarian, featuring in our top five!”
Information about the National Poetry Day poetry recital at Wellington City Libraries can be found on the Johnsonville Library Facebook page.