The only thing to bring
this frozen world to life
is an imagination.
Who has one? Do I?
Let me check.
Rata Gordon’s first poetry collection is both graceful and restless, sorrowful and witty. In poems about childhood, travelling, the body and the Earth, Gordon describes the freedom and disorientation we find in unfamilar places, and the way that our longings and imaginings animate our lives.
'Gordon selects specific, defined childhood events – real or imagined, who knows, and does it matter? – to impart intense universal pictures of feeling. That’s the trick of poetry, where the unique reaches out to the reader. . . . A delightful book.' —Anne Kennedy, Academy of New Zealand Literature
'I am musing on the way, as we write poems, as we insert ourselves above, between, behind and in the lines, we always become second person, whether past present future. . . . Second Person is fresh, layered and utterly captivating.' —Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf
'These poems spoke to a sense of longing to travel and experience new things, which is in opposition to the reality of being confined to home in this strange new global scenario. Rata's poems are wide-ranging and evoke the very familiar (home, Aotearoa, family) and the new and thrilling (India, San Francisco, new lovers).' —Claire Mabey, Article Magazine
Poems by Rata Gordon have appeared in Best New Zealand Poems, The Spinoff, Sport, Landfall, JAAM, Poetry NZ Yearbook, Geometry, Sweet Mammalian, 4th Floor and elsewhere. She works in arts and mental health. ratagordon.com
Cover: Di ffrench, Opera on the Whanganui (1995/6). Courtesy ARTIS Gallery, Auckland