The Glass Harmonica
The island is a holy well,
the crystal glasses fill with water.
Ill strike them with a willow wand
with my left
then with my right hand
and Ill call their music laughter,
sings Flahertys daughter.
In 2007 Bernadette Hall spent six months in Ireland, not far from Blarney, on the Rathcoola Fellowship. The poems in this collection arise from that experience.
With light-heartedness and daring, they track between dualities: the North and the South in Ireland; the rain-washed skies of Donoughmore, Co. Cork and the Queensland rainforest. Between national and personal histories. As for poetry, what is it to be, an axe or a peace offering?
Praise for The Lustre Jug
Hall presents a deeply idiosyncratic map of the world, precisely depicting those details, which make minutes and days warm and inhabitable spaces.
Abby Cunnane CAPITAL TIMES
The Lustre Jug is a warm, elegant little book.
Hamesh Wyatt OTAGO DAILY TIMES
Geoff Cochranes Launch Poem for Bernadette Halls The Lustre Jug
3 August 2009, Christchurch
Im here to add sparkle to an already sparkling occasion. Ive also undertaken to sing
for my supper, but Ill keep it short and sweet, which I like to think Im good at.
(Philip Larkin once said he wouldnt mind seeing China if he could come back the same day)
Yes. And Im a bit like Larkin, which is why I tell the story.
Our good friend Bernie on the other hand,
travelling hopefully and arriving graciously,
turns out to be a great inhabiter and enjoyer of the places she goes to.
Which brings us to The Lustre Jug and Ireland.
A place where foxgloves are heliotrope thimbles.
A place where there are bridges of glass and moss as thick as the fleece on
A place where raindrops slide gown strings of sunlight.
Bernadette Hall is an award-winning poet who lives in North Canterbury. Her work has been included most recently in Twenty Contemporary New Zealand Poets, edited by Andrew Johnston and Robyn Marsack (VUP/Carcanet, 2009). She is a founding staff member of The Hagley Writers Institute in Christchurch.