"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching."
Portia, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene II.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NZATE 2015: Keynote 1 - Glenn Colquhoun

Myths and Legends of the Ancient Pakeha

Glenn calls conference: "a small prayer meeting of those who love 'story' on a Wednesday morning."

Our country has two poetries: one is written in English, the other is spoken, chanted and sung in Maori. The two do not often connect. 

However, poetry in English has its own oral tradition - sea shanty, lullaby, songs etc. 

This is gold: Glenn is singing a moteatea 'composed by Captain Cook on first making landfall in Aotearoa'. I think I'm going to cry - that was awesome!

Glenn has been connecting back into the oral tradition so most of the poems he shared with us today have been sung. This is lyric poetry in the real oral tradition. For me, this is reaching into what I have always personally felt about the connection between say, Beowulf and Shakespeare, and moteatea or waiata tawhito.

"There are many volumes of pakehatanga left unsung."

"There is something delicious about bodies that have stood the test of time."

"Whakapapa does not only connect those who are related."

Singing one's poems is an unveiling: "To truly sing your stories requires the revelation of character."

"I like to think these songs are really an old form of medicine."

I actually was reduced to tears by Glenn's Moteatea mo Maria - telling the story of his pakeha ancestry in te reo rangatira. The whakapakehatia was superfluous. 

He mihi nui ki a koe, e Glenn, mo tenei taonga kua whakatuari ki a matou - tena koe.

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