The Regent Cafe: Picturing Canterbury

Interior view of the Regent Cafe, in the Regent Theatre Building, Cathedral Square [ca. 1958]

The Canterbury Film Society has excellent information on the history of  Christchurch cinemas. It includes a chronological list of cinemas.

Instant Poetry

In a perfect start for National Poetry Day, a cool new Gap Filler initiative kicked off this morning. Poetica: The Christchurch Urban poetry project launched Instant Poetry: On the wall of 614 Colombo Street Christchurch (Old Beggs music store) you can write your own instant poem or an existing poem on the Instant Poetry blackboard in the language of your choice.

Then take a picture of you and your poem (with translation if needed) and post it on the Poetica Facebook site. The poem that is “liked” the most will be painted permanently on this wall at the end of the first project.

This morning’s launch saw a crew of poets and supporters drinking tea and eating fruit toast and sharing poems. They were such a nice bunch of people I was inspired to get up and give it a go myself (read Robin Hyde’s Neon Lights).

Some read their own poems, others chose a favourite piece (we had James K. Baxter and Walt Whitman).

Here are some pics of poetry in action:

Reading poemsReading poemsReading poemsReading poemsPoeticaReading poems

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori whakatauki #5

Ko tōku nui, tōku wehi, tōku whakatiketike, tōku reo.

My language is my greatness, my inspiration, that which I hold precious.

Rāmere’s (Friday’s) whakatauki.

Browse our information and events for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori — Māori Language Week 23 Hōngongoi — 29 Hōngongoi 2012.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori — Māori Language Week celebrates te reo Māori. The Māori language is a taonga that gives New Zealand its distinct and unique cultural identity.

Oh to be in high school English again where poetry is wrung out and left to dry

Cover: "Our Favourite Poems"I wish I hadn’t studied poetry at high school.

I wish I had been left to wander lonely as a cloud and to lie amid the daffodils.Why could I not be left to explore Xanadu’s pleasure domes at my leisure?

If I had been left to enjoy poetry, I would have put to sea in my pea-green boat and rescued the boy from a burning deck. We would sail away for a year and a day (or until I understood haiku poetry). We would bump against a foreign shore that will be forever England.

If  I hadn’t been made to study poetry at school, I would run over hill and dale, clasping my book of poems. I would ride the colt from old Regret across my sunburnt country. I would dip my toes in  the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea and  The Bloke would take Doreen to see a play.

Before I studied poetry in high school, I was let to run across glade and glen, shunning the frumious Bandersnatch and brandishing my vorpal blade. I knew why a raven was like a desk and I knew for whom the bell tolled. It tolled for my family, telling us to hurry up or we’ll be late for church. Before I studied poetry, I knew not what the poet meant, only what was said.

Alas, dear reader, my teacher took my much loved poems from me

and told me what the poet really meant to say.

The poems lost their colour and the images faded away.

So tell me if you can… Is it too late for Hunt, Dennis, Thomas, Yeats and Wordsworth to weave a colourful poem for me?

Or have I found a Boojum?