The Marlborough Sounds, at the north-eastern corner of the South Island, are a drowning landscape. Their coastal river valleys are slowly sinking and being covered by the sea – one of the few land areas in New Zealand that is sinking rather than rising.
Denis Glover’s 1964 poem is a memory of summers spent in the Marlborough Sounds.
Summer, Pelorus Sound
There is always water.
Every track, half-road or hilltop
Throws a view of the labyrinthine
Seeping and effortless sea
Undulant, insidious, creeping
Round hill and promontory
From the sea, from the boat’s deck
Name if you can which lead, which premised peak
Will open up, starboard or port,
The winding road you seek
Of the sea.
Permission to reproduce poem courtesy of Denis Glover literary estate and Pia Glover.
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Photograph by Lloyd Homer
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