On the road to spread the word

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

Poet Paula Green has wowed chil­dren at Rich­mond Road Pri­mary School with her rhymes.

The well-known West Auck­land poet came to the school on Mon­day as part of the Hot Spot Po­etry Tour of New Zealand to cel­e­brate po­etry by, and for, chil­dren.

Tucked tightly un­der her arm for the jour­ney around the coun­try has been a copy of the Trea­sury of NZ Po­ems for Chil­dren, an an­thol­ogy which she com­piled.

The book has po­ems by all the big names, from Mar­garet Mahy and Hone Tuwhare to Joy Cow­ley and Bill Man­hire.

Sit­ting right along­side the words of some of New Zealand’s great­est writ­ers are po­ems writ­ten by chil­dren.

Green says for chil­dren, po­etry can be the key which un­locks the world of lit­er­a­ture.

‘‘Po­etry more than any­thing is a way of rock­et­ing a child into that world of lan­guage and sto­ries,’’ she says.

‘‘The mu­sic be­tween words is cap­ti­vat­ing for a young au­di­ence, for any­one.’’

She says with po­etry young­sters can let their imag­i­na­tions run wild and be cre­ative with their use of lan­guage.

‘‘There are no rules in po­etry,’’ she says.

Green helped stu­dents at Rich­mond Road Pri­mary to write po­ems dur­ing her visit.

‘‘I want to in­spire. I want to help them fall in love with po­etry,’’ she says.

‘‘I have writ­ten po­ems since year zero. Lan­guage to me was like a play­ground and I have never stopped play­ing.’’

Green says a high­light of her na­tional tour was meet­ing the old­est poet to be pub­lished in the book.

‘‘At 91 years old she looked at me and said: ‘ Fi­nally some recog­ni­tion’ – and she has been writ­ing po­ems all her life,’’ she says.

Photo: ROSE CAW­LEY

Rhyme time: West Auck­land poet Paula Green reads the Trea­sury of NZ Po­ems for Chil­dren, which she edited, with Rich­mond Road School stu­dents Can­dace Langeveld and Fergus Sal­mond.

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