Thursday, January 25, 2007

Theresia (2)

Well, you can imagine my surprise -- consternation, almost: let's be honest -- when I got home this week to find Theresia's Christmas card waiting for me unopened. Not only a card but a copy of the latest Pohutukawa Press publication. Not only a book but a little poem, too.

Here's the poem:

is this kirihimete kirisimasi christmas?
(for jack ross)

from the green sea against the grey sky
a band of light arises
red orange yellow green blue indigo violet
which the rain erases

from the land of the living
against the world of the dying
a voice of thanks arises
for those gifts sought and needed
for these lessons in avoidance and remedies
which the refusal to accept gratitude erases

but i do not care
you are you
i am me
sing I will
'thank you again'
this is christmas!

(copyright The Pohutukawa Press, 2006)

There's a slight sting in the tail there, I fear. Maybe a hint of admonition. I guess I'd like to talk the poem over with her now -- maybe I'm misreading. But all too late, unfortunately. Now it'll have to speak for itself.

That last gift of hers also enables me to put up a list (as complete as I can make it, at any rate), of the publications Theresia put out through her two imprints (you know us academics love to make lists -- and Theresia was no exception):

The Pohutukawa Press
has published


Soft Leaf Falls Of The Moon (1st ed. 1996, reprint misnamed 2nd ed. 1997, 3rd ed. 1999, 4th ed. 2003). (Apirana Taylor).

nothing is as physical as a poem (1997). (Robin McConnell).

City of Strange Brunettes (1998). (Jack Ross).

dreaming of flight (2002). (Dreu Harrison).

Tagata Kapakiloi: restless people (2004). (John Puhiatau Pule).

passages (2005). (Andre Antao).

Matua: parent (2006). (Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua).


Apirana Taylor’s two plays in one volume Kohanga and Whaea Kairau: mother hundred eater (1999).


Iti Te Kopara: the bellbird is small (2000). (Apirana Taylor).

Christian Gray New Zealand
has published


That was Then (1998). (Lee Dowrick).

Pieces of Air (1999). (Alison Denham).


when the sea goes mad at night (1999-2000). (ed. Theresia Liemlienio Marshall).

Twelve books in all -- a substantial legacy.

We're planning a celebration of Theresia's life and achievements to be held at Massey Albany sometime in March. If you'd be interested in coming along, or sharing your own memories of her -- either as colleague, friend, or teacher -- please get in touch.

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