Greetings poetry people.  More words from the world of literature.


These ones from Matsuo Bashō (松尾芭蕉?, 1644 – November 28, 1694), was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga His poem Class D form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku (at the time called hokku). His poetry is internationally renowned, and in Japan many of his poems are reproduced on monuments and traditional sites.


‘In my view a good poem is one in which the form of the verse and the joining of its parts seems light as a shallow river flowing over its sandy bed.’

 (Translated by Lucien Stryk)

Basho was brought to mind by a poem from our latest poet at Valhalla Bryan Walpert. Walpert was born and brought up in America and now teaches creative writing at Massey University. He has published poetry, short stories and an academic monograph on American poetry. As well as new poems he read from his collection, A History of Glass (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2011). His poem Class Discussion contained this quote from Basho:

First snow falls

On the half finished bridge.


 It is astonishing to realise how long ago Basho wrote words that are still quoted and appreciated today.

Our guest poet at Valhalla for the last Sunday in July – 28th is Lynn Davidson.  Lynn is a friend of many of us. She is a well published poet with four collections to her name. Her latest book, Common Land (Victoria University Press) is wonderfully readable and generously autobiographical. There is so much in Lynn’s writing to identify with. It is moving and varied. I loved reading it and am looking forward to her sharing it with us.  Lynn has tutored at Massey University and at Whitiereia both at Kapiti and Porirua. Several of the poets at our open mic readings have attended her classes. Lyn will be down from Auckland for this session. Do come and support her – it’s great when we have important local poets to star.

Really good new regarding Valhalla is that after our July Sunday reading they will be providing a $12 roast dinner  so it would not only be a great idea but supportive of the café if you booked ahead as it should be very popular. Book now for that (even if you can’t be at the poetry). Phone 905 2010

Please remember this a kiss is just…oh no wrong words… just kidding to get your attention. Please remember the following -The Library is putting on a function for National Poetry Day on August 16th.  The Libraries are running a poetry competition as part of Poetry Day celebrations.  What is important for YOU is that you get along to the library and collect a form for the poem you are going to enter into the competition. You can also find it online and if you go to Kapiti Libraries and click on ‘news’ you will get the terms and conditions for the competition too. Nothing ventured, you know! Paper Plus is generously giving prizes and it’s not just about the prize. How satisfying to participate – give it a go!

That’s it for this month … except:

‘A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightening five or six times; a dozen or two dozen times and he is great.’

Randall Jarrell