Author(s): Robert Sullivan
Shortlisted for the 2000 Montana NZ Book Awards, poetry section. Robert Sullivan's new book is a major poem by a Maori poet who has reached an impressive maturity. His achievement here in a rich and complex work of 100 poems (plus opening and closing verses) far outstrips his two earlier collections and is a landmark in contemporary New Zealand poetry. Drawing on the two symbols of Star and Waka, the poet explores themes of journeying and navigation, moving back and forth in time and focus between here and there, between near and far. In an extraordinary range of tones and styles, sometimes rhetorical, he confronts colonisation, contemporary political issues, personal questions of identity and family and much more. Inhabited by many myths, Star Waka has in is grandeur and eloquence and universal concerns something of the quality of myth itself. Unquestionably the most significant long poem in English by a Maori poet. Waka 99 If waka could be resurrected they wouldn't just come out from museum doors smashing glass cases revolving and sliding doors on their exit they wouldn't just come out of mountains as if liquefied from a frozen state the resurrection wouldn't just come about this way the South Island turned to wood waiting for the giant crew of Maui and his brothers bailers and anchors turned back to what they were when they were strewn about the country by Kupe and his relations the resurrection would happen in the blood of the men and women the boys and girls who are blood relations of the crew whose veins touch the veins who touched the veins of those who touched the veins who touched the veins who touched the veins of the men and women from the time of Kupe and before. The resurrection will come out of their blood.
Shortlisted for Montana New Zealand Book of the Year Award Poetry Category 2000.