To catch the cat’s studied indifference, her yawn and stretch in the sun.
To take what once was thought and twice rejected and refine it until it is not what it was.
To recover the realm between waking and sleep where a dragon guards the golden hoard
and a word marks the lizard’s dart between is and was.
Casual, effortless, elegant to be the heron climbing the air.
To give to the human order a kinder face a better shape.
To be and not to be Hamlet beset by slings and arrows.
To find a way back to the bush stream where small fish used to hang in shafts of sunlight.
To get ahead of yourself and accept the silence.
As part of the MCS Arts Festival Oxford, Azfa Awad, Youth Ambassador for Poetry (a position co-sponsored by Oxford Brookes and Oxford City Council), will be reading in Oxford alongside the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, on Thursday 3 July from 7.30-9.30pm. For more details, visit the festival website.
‘Why poetry?’ by CK Stead is copyright © CK Stead, 2013, and is reprinted by permission of Arc Publications from the book The Yellow Buoy (Arc Publications, 2013).
Notes from Arc Publications:
CK Stead, poet, essayist and novelist, is only one of two writers to hold the Order of New Zealand. In The Yellow Buoy, Stead's fifteenth collection of poetry, the writer journeys in time and space from Croatia and Colombia to Karekare and the Côte d'Azur; Catullus returns to receive plaudits, write to friends and read the world; and various other literary fellows appear in person, dream or conversation – Allen Curnow and Hugh Kawharu, Frank Sargeson and Barry Humphries, Robert Creeley and Katherine Mansfield. You can read more about CK Stead on Arc’s page, where you can also read further samples of his work. Eight poems from Stead’s work, read by the poet himself, can also be heard on the Poetry Archive site.
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