Love of Wellington
Big Weather: Poems of Wellington Selected by Gregory O’Brien and Louise St John, Penguin Random House, $30
.. .. .. .. .. ..
Wellington is not a city that leaves anyone unmoved. I’m a bit biased, born there and heading back for tertiary study, but as they say, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day.
Except that good day was on a Wednesday last October. Mostly it’s cold, damp, and windy with steep streets, bureaucrats and politicians and trains that don’t run on time.
This is a rereleased collection of poems about the city which James K Baxter called “the sterile whore of a thousand bureacrats”. His poems are here, along with Fleur Adcock, Allen Curnow, Denis Glover, Sam Hunt, Fiona Kidman, Bill Manhire, Katherine Mansfield, Vincent O’Sullivan.
Among them all they have nicely captured the nature of a city with a dozen different moods, a people crafted by its fickle weather and the beautiful bays that engender such affection from anyone who has ever lived there. This is a lovely little book to dip into whenever the wind blows and the ferry lurches into the harbour.
“This is my city, the hills and harbour water I call home, the grey sky racing over the headlands, awkward narrow streets that stirred me long ago ... ” Lauris Edmond.