Kay McKenzie Cooke
Otago University Press
Paperback, 210 x 148 mm, 72 pp
ISBN 978-1-877578-87-8, $25
IN-STORE: APRIL 2014
See below for ordering information
Below is the blurb followed by an excerpt from one of the poems in the book, 'lost in my own green light'. (The title for this poem comes from the song, 'Lost in Paradise', sung by Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66).
Laconic, wry, subtly philosophical, Kay McKenzie Cooke’s new collection carries us from her rural Southland girlhood in the 1950s and 60s to the bitter pressures of adopting out her baby as a teenager in the 1970s, and to her present as grandmother, mother, wife and author.
A plain-spoken honesty, a sensitivity to the natural world, a gentle humour, a deep sense of how the richness of our relationships lodges in ordinary rituals and routines: all combine in a quietly moving autobiography.
Born to a Red-Headed Woman is documentary, vivid, ever grounded in the workaday detail of farming, the changing decades, family, city life and job. Yet at times the language peels right back to the tender nerve of major, formative losses.
If Cooke’s observations of the daily are the simple melodic lines that seem to coast on the surface, beneath that runs a rich bass line of meditation on time, on meaning, how to live a life true to oneself, and to familial love.'
under a plain sky
not yet written on by weather,
heading for the middle,
safe from the peril of edges,
the dilemma of borders
The photos of the late-summer roses interspersed between the words on this post, were taken by me on Sunday, at the Dunedin Botannical rose garden.