The Leaf Ride
Published April 2011
Shortlisted in the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards
There is a remarkable range of poems in The Leaf-Ride as it travels along in its 'down-welling, up-welling drift': poems that range from the power of a single word to the horror of violence to the joy of a newborn child. At the heart of the book are three sequences to stand alongside those that have formed the backbone of Dinah Hawken's acclaimed oeuvre: a contemplative poem written beside Lake Geneva; the 'Building Sonnets', which observe the construction of a new room; and 'Peace on Earth', which was commissioned to accompany a performance of Haydn's Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross.
'The poetry arises from tension between the solidity of the earth and the impermanence of human life and activity. The volume embodies all the qualities we most cherish in Hawken’s work, the engagement with landscape, the almost visionary sense of spirituality, an intense personal vision and a powerful emotional presence.' —Patricia Prime