10 September 2015
I went straight into the sea.
I wanted its lift and cold,
its salt, its curve and its breaking.
I remembered its clarity. I loved
its heartiness and with that
I remembered the recent dead.
Ocean and Stone, Dinah Hawken’s seventh collection of poetry, is a book of many elements.
The central sequence page : stone : leaf, interspersed with the striking drawings of John Edgar, is framed by poems of growing up and growing old. They, in turn, are framed by poems written in the natural world, beside a lake and beside an ocean. At the heart of this book is urgency: the urgency to know the limits of our planet and ourselves, and to live within them.
Ocean and Stone is elemental Dinah Hawken, at once meditative and resolute.
Dinah Hawken was born in Hawera in 1943 and now lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She trained as a physiotherapist, psychotherapist and social worker in New Zealand and the United States and has worked as a student counsellor and writing teacher at Victoria University of Wellington. Her most recent book is The Leaf Ride (2011).