No ordinary son

Hone Tuwhare, 1922 – 2008

I can hear you
making small holes
in the silence

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind

from Rain

Image: At the Wairoa Maori Writers & Artists Hui, 1973.
Photo: John Miller

Our page on Hone Tuwhare

Hand-set edition of Hone Tuwhare’s Rain

News from Otago University for poetry lovers and bibliophiles alike:
A limited edition hand-set printing of Hone Tuwhare’s classic poem ‘Rain’ has just been completed as part of the 2007 Printing in Residence Programme at the University of Otago Library. Eleven other poems were re-printed from Tuwhare’s Come Rain Hail (1970) and produced in a large format portfolio production. It was printed by Dr John Holmes, under the University Library’s Otakou Press.

Tuwhare’s well-known ‘Rain’ was illustrated by Olav Nielsen, a Dunedin printmaker-artist. Six other Dunedin artists were involved: Inge Doesburg, Simon Kaan, Mary McFarlane, Kathryn Madill, Jenna Packer, and Marilyn Webb. Each selected a poem and created their own delightful image-masterpieces.

All the copies printed have been sold. Those interested in viewing the production can call into Special Collections at the Otago University Library (1st floor) and request to see it, or otherwise view online images. Next year’s project, which will feature master-printer Alan Loney.

Hone Tuwhare For more information about Hone:

  • Books by Hone Tuwhare at Christchurch City Libraries
  • Information about Hone at Christchurch City Libraries
  • The New Zealand Book Council entry on Hone

If you are looking for a different interpretation of Hone’s poetry, try the sound recording Tuwhare. This was a project commissioned by Toi Maori Aotearoa and directed by Charlotte Yates in which poems by Hone were set to music by recording artists from NZ/Aotearoa.