Anahera Gildea at Pantograph Punch: Kōiwi Pāmamao – The Distance in our Bones

full article here –  it is a must read!

‘When a poem uses both te reo Māori and English, references to te ao Māori are often glossed over by readers. Anahera Gildea explores why, and calls for more educated readers of Māori writing.

          Ko Papatūānuku kei raro
Ko Ranginui kei runga
Ko ngā tāngata kei waenganui
Tīhei mauriora.

          He uri ahau nō Ngāti Raukawa-ki-te-tonga
Ko Anahera Gildea tōku ingoa.

The feeling of my brain unfolding exponentially when I encounter an outstanding poem is the feeling of being woke. As a poet, and a hungry reader of poetry, I find there is nothing that quite matches that moment when comprehension meets complexity meets cognitive dissonance and the whole lot gallops into the glorious sublime – taking me for a ride on the splendid and wingéd uninmaginable.

You may have noticed I used the word ‘woke.’ It’s a borrowed term that’s now made its way into general usage, but originated in the African American vernacular. It gained popularity with the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, but its modern usage is thought to have emerged from Erykah Badu’s 2008 song “Master Teacher” with the repeated refrain, “I stay woke.” Its meanings have evolved and transitioned as different communities have gotten hold of it, ranging from a decree to question the dominant paradigm, a statement of raised consciousness, a self-ascribed expression of socially conscious allyship, through to a trivialising piss-take.’

Anahera Gildea




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