An update on our earlier posting on What’s your favourite Poem? – A Press release from Craig Potton on Scoop says that given the popularity of the competition, voting has been extended to July 31, 2007.
Currently ‘Rain’, by Hone Tuwhare, and Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ are battling it out for the top spot. There are a diverse selection challenging for third place – votes are very close between ‘Funeral Blues’ [Stop all the clocks…] (WH Auden), ‘High Country Weather’ (James K Baxter), Daffodils [I wandered lonely as a cloud…] (Wordsworth), and ‘Magpies’ (Denis Glover).
We’re thrilled with the results so far,” says Associate Publisher, Phillippa Duffy. “Through the voting, the public have a hand in the book’s creation and feel a sense of ownership toward it. Particularly wonderful is the number of New Zealand poems that are making it through, which goes to show New Zealanders’ pride in our own poetry tradition and, quite possibly, that they’re getting a good airing at school. We’re also getting votes for children’s poems with ‘Jabberwocky’, ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and a mixture of works by AA Milne voted for by both the young, and the young-at-heart!”
Promoted through Sunday Star Times, bookstores, schools, and local libraries the results so far suggests Our Favourite Poems will contain accessible works that reflect the country’s poetic palate, rather than the tastes often contained in high-brow, literary anthologies. “Our Favourite Poems gives the opportunity for booksellers to interact with their customers, libraries to engage their members, and for schools to get students thinking about poetry as an enjoyable form of writing and reading. The book will provide a never-before seen insight into the country’s poetic pulse.”
It will be interesting to see which poems make it to the finish line – and if any of our picks get through. I am not a fan of Wordsworth’s Daffodils … but am impressed with the good showing so far by NZ poems.