Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Writers on the Quake

Some wonderful writing is starting to come through about the Quake, the 'recollected in tranquillity' sort of writing that evokes so well the lack of tranquillity, takes you inside the place that is Christchurch but that doesn't feel like Christchurch now.

One of the best for me is Christchurch poet Joanna Preston's post, which includes these words:

People who are in shock, in pain, in distress that I can only vaguely imagine. It’s real: this disaster-movie setting is the place I chose to live in. Where I got married, where I’ve lived longer than anywhere else. Where I became a real poet. Where I made a garden, and painted walls, and had a life. My city. Beautiful, placid, gentle Christchurch. Frustrating, passionate, one-eyed Christchurch. Staunch, sod-this-we’ll-get-through-because-we’re-Cantabrians Christchurch. How could this be happening? 
Terribly moving is a poem about a young poet who lost his life in the Earthquake, posted on Bookman Beattie's blog.

And other Christchurch poets - all part of the Tuesday Poem - have drawn me in for different reasons: Jeffrey Paparoa Holman's poem approaches the aftermath of the Quake via the eyes of a fly, and actually made me laugh.  Catherine Fitchett's daily trials - the difficulties of simply registering the car, for example - are strongly drawn and make one wonder which country she's describing.  Surely not Christchurch, our Christchurch. Roll down, too, to her previous post to find a poem that expresses so well what she and Christchurch are going through.

Author and Poet Helen Lowe talks about the drudge of digging liquefaction for six days and the pain of sorting out a devastated study - the place she writes her books.

There are those who remain silent because they can't get online or can't find the words or can't find the words, and those who find other words, and those outside of the Earthquake who find the reluctant words and corral them and question them and then put them up still uncertain - Renee Liang, Jen Compton, Alicia Pondermyself.


Catherine said...

Thanks Mary, for the "strongly drawn" - really, I don't have the energy to edit or polish, I just "spill"

Unknown said...

Thanks for pulling all these together, Mary.