February 2011

A New Zealand Literary Showcase

Issue 14 Guest Artist:
Gordon Walters

Past Features:
Glasgow Voices
Volta: A Multilingual Anthology
(One poem: 93 languages)

15 Miami Poets

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Advisory Consultant: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Deputy General Editor: Jeff Barry

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
Assistant Editor: Patricia Delmar
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Assistant Editor: Robert Toperter
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Edward Tregear by Mark Pirie  


Edward Tregear



Your arrival in Kiwiland
was brought on by despair,

as if you were formed from
a ‘lonely rock’ in a ‘songless land’.

The death of your father
left you near destitute -

and curtailed your scholarly hopes,
and so you sailed with your family

a new life awaiting you
out in the exotic colony.



It was here you were
recruited to fight the Maori

who later became your friends,
as you sought to make roads

around Te Awamutu. You then
lived for months with the Maori

never sighting the Pakeha
you left behind. It was here

you built your own mythology:
the young poet cast off

from the Motherland, and your
beloved Arthurian origins, left to

play the wanderer in South
Pacific lands. To complicate

matters, you fell in love
with another man’s wife.


Eventually you could marry,
living in New Plymouth and

emerging from obscurity, the man
of letters and a provocative essayist.

Your controversial findings in
the Aryan Maori sought to bind the

people closer together: Pakeha and
Maori were from the same origins

somewhere near the Caspian Sea,
‘…the fairyland of the dark children.’


A dictionary of Maori-Polynesian words
established your place for a time,

along with a book of Polynesian ‘fairy tales’.
And, after founding the Polynesian Society,

you became one of the country’s most
prominent intellectual and social figures.


It was with Reeves, the next big step
occurred. You worked with him on

making powerful social reforms.
An avowed ‘socialist’ you worked

next with Seddon, and supported
the rights of the early civil service.

Sometimes though your radical views
embarrassed the conservative Liberals.

Breaking away you were President of
the Social Democrats until Massey

crushed the labour strikes, sending
you into a sudden collapse, and

retirement from all offices in Picton -
a life well-lived, you died, a relative hero.


‘Only imaginative people really live,’
you said, ‘…the others…knowing nothing of

the crushing life, the delightful terrors,
and the delightful pain of full existence.’

This poem is indebted to the research of historian K R Howe