by Vaughan Rapatahana
Vaughan Rapatahana’s latest book titled ngā whakamatuatanga / interludes, is a refreshing take from a poet. His vivid thoughts, memories and opinions create an opening into his mind. Unlike many poets whose extravagant words often guard the true feelings of a poet.
Vaughan Rapatahana (Te Ātiawa) writes in multiple genres – chiefly poetry, criticism and commentaries – in both his main languages, te reo Māori and English. He graduated with a PhD (on Colin Wilson) from the University of Auckland and has published several poetry collections both here and overseas.
Vaughan’s latest collection ngā whakamatuatanga / interludes appeared in 2019. It is a sequence of six parts that go deep into human experience, draw upon multiple languages and exhilarating linguistic effects. You move with the sky, rain, trees, from home to home, from the Christchurch attacks to collecting driftwood, to a Waitangi dawn.
ngā whakamatuatanga / interludes is divided into five sections:
First section, ‘ngā wāhi / places’
Second section, ‘ngā whanaungatanga / relationships’
Third section, ‘te ao tūroa / nature’
Fourth section, ‘ngā tõrangapū rāua ko nga rapunga whakaaro / politics and philosophy
Fifth section, ngā toikupu / poetry
Sixth section, te raro / the underground
Through these sections, Vaughan expresses his feelings, emotions and opinions through poetry.
I enjoyed this poem: (first stanza)
Ko Aotearoa te ingoa o tēnei whenua ātaahua.
land of the long white cloud for many
nestling in a sea of verdant green,
surrounded by a brilliant blue ocean
& where the All Blacks reign.
This poem, titled Sometimes, made me smile, as it is very relatable…
writing a poem
driving a bus
Vaughan won the inaugural Proverse Poetry Prize in 2016, the same year as his Atonement was nominated for a National Book Award in Philippines. He is also represented in New Zealand’s Best Poems of 2017.
Lovers of poetry and people interested in New Zealand life will enjoy this book, especially home-sick Kiwis living overseas. It is a must for every library in New Zealand.
I enjoyed reading Vaughan’s poetry. It was refreshing, seeing the world through his unique eyes. Thank you for sharing your poetry with us.
Author: Vaughan Rapatahana
Publisher: Cyberwit.net, Allahabad, India
Available: from www.cyberwit.net, or from the author firstname.lastname@example.org