[Māori Poet - Hone Tuwhare]

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Tono kōrero mai

"Māori Poet"- a Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand radio feature about poet Hone Tuwhare. Contains an interview and excerpts of Tuwhare reading poems from "No Ordinary Sun" his first published collection. (Produced by Robin King for the Overseas Programme Exchange Service.)

Opens with poet Hone Tuwhare reading the first stanza of "Friend" and speaking about himself and his poetry. He explains the concept of 'mauri' which he says means a material symbol of the hidden principal protecting vitality, and often this is in the form of a stone brought from another island and revered by other people.

Hone reads his poem called "Mauri" then explains his verse, which he says was trying to convey the concept of mauri to a modern, Pākēha reader. He says it is a difficult poem for him to read.

Hone talks about himself as a native te reo Māori speaker - he says he didn't speak English regularly until the family moved to Auckland when he was aged seven. He talks about the influence of traditional Māori chants in his work.

He reads from "Friend" and recalls his school days.

He reads his poem "Nocturne" which he says is possibly a love poem, and talks about how it and other s were inspired. "Song" which was written in 1959 when he was working on the Mangakino hydro project.

He was apprenticed as a boilermaker at the Otahuhu Railway workshop - which had a very good library where he read widely and discovered many authors and poets including Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman and Garcia Llorca, who he says was the greatest influence on him. He says he didn't discover classical English poets such as Keats and Wordsworth until much later.

He met R.A. K. Mason but didn't realise he was a poet for several years.
He reads from "Sea Call" and talks abut how he writes, creating dozens of drafts of a single poem, continually "cutting fat" and editing. He says his quickest poem was "Oh Africa" which took three days to write.

His father used to work for Chinese market gardeners and he grew up outdoors, but that part of Auckland has now become suburbia. He worked in an industrial environment and became involve din the union movement.

Recording from a reading at Downstage Theatre during the Festival of Arts. He notes that his poems are to be read aloud- he finds it very difficult to read them in his head. Hone reads "Not by wind ravaged" and explains it is about the tragedy of people leaving their marae which fall into disrepair - and notes it is about his marae's wharenui Puhi Moana Ariki (Ngāpuhi). He comments on the melancholy element in his work.

He speaks about Māori artists moving from writing about the natural world to their internal landscape and discusses Māori visual artists, especially Ralph Hōtere.

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Reference number 49624

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Tuwhare, Hone, 1922-2008, Interviewee
KING, Robin, Producer

Duration 00:27:00

Date [1967]

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