'Indexing Emily' by Bill Manhire

Bill Manhire

Bill Manhire

Bill Manhire was New Zealand's inaugural Poet Laureate. He founded the well-known creative writing programme at Victoria University of

...

The dead gaze back across their special days:
cloud above clover, crisis above the crow ...
Such new horizons, yet they still approach.
They know how eclipse and ecstacy edge along together:
whisper and wink of wind, but no real weather.

Between practice and prayer there's always praise.
Mist and mistakes are in the text.
And now here's the night – nobody's next – and poetry
falls from the crucifixion like a crumb, and belief
needs bells, needs bereavement. Bothersome.

Now a feather falls towards March
somehow recalling the snake above the snow.
Everything slows. All those ships
anticipating shipwreck: frigate, little boat.
Brain almost touching the bride. Sweet anecdote.

Can the simple be simplified? Our riches
ride on a riddle: rapture and rainbow
and remaining time. And now all the columns
of Love appear. No word of reproof, no sign
of rage. Love is like Death: it needs to turn the page.

Bill Manhire


Bill Manhire was New Zealand's inaugural Poet Laureate.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.