Te Tairawhiti poetry competition
Entries have closed and the poetry is in! Welcome to something a little different for your housebound arts and entertainment pages.
Last week the lockdown shuttered our theatres, silenced bands and kept bar taps unnaturally dry, so on a whim, The Herald decided to replace the arts lost to isolation.
And so Te Tairawhiti Poetry Competition came into existence at 12 noon on Saturday and closed at the same time on Wednesday.
In the space of those four days, Tairawhiti came out swinging. Together locals punched out over 100 poems for the competition.
Although this lockdown has taken away much, it has given us time.
A huge thank you to those who helped entertain and inspire the community by reading their favourite poems on our social media.
The best part about this competition has been discovering how many people love poetry.
I have always been an avid reader but never got much from poems — how foolish I have been.
I devoured the poems sent in about locals’ love, loneliness and fondness for lambs’ tails. I’m full — I may have sat down for too much poetry in one sitting.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space for everyone’s work to be shown here, although we’ll endeavour to print some of the longer pieces submitted in the coming weeks.
(I received 102 poems made up of 9285 words, using 47,532 characters, basically a short novel).
Thank you to the principals, teachers, parents and you for pushing for poetry.
We cannot control politics nor war, but poetry is ours.
I can’t wait for you to read the beautiful things our people have written, published in these pages.
Take this paper and leave it about the house, reading each poem a second time or three.
My favourite poems grew more delightful as I came back for more. And hey, you’ve got the time, be sure to digest.
Winners will be announced next week after getting advice from professional poetry people.
Many thanks to Steph Barnett for putting together the artwork for this competition in quick-smart time.