Story: Poetry

Jenny Bornholdt, 2009 (3rd of 3)

Jenny Bornholdt, 2009

Jenny Bornholdt is a prolific poet whose work is marked by clarity of language and an honest response to the world around her. She is married to poet, writer and artist Gregory O'Brien. A good example of the tone of her work is 'Make sure', a prose poem from 1989:

Make sure you fall in love with a man who you know will survive in the bush.
This way, when he is three nights overdue from his trip and the search and rescue team is out looking for him and the helicopter has been called back because the weather is closing in and they’re interviewing you on television in a close-up camera shot, asking you what you think his chances are – hoping you will cry and your lip will tremble – you can look them straight in the eye and say you know he will be alright, he has had plenty of experience and he knows what to do, he was carrying plenty of food and warm clothing and he is strong.
Even if he is hurt, you know he will be all right.
He’s a fighter, you’ll say. He won’t give in.
But the weather is closing in, you must be worried, they’ll ask. You keep your resolve. He will be all right you say. I know he will.
(Jane Stafford and Mark Williams, eds. The Auckland University Press anthology of New Zealand literature. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2012, p. 842)
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New Zealand Herald
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How to cite this page:

John Newton, 'Poetry - Diversity: since 1985', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/43094/jenny-bornholdt-2009 (accessed 21 October 2017)

Story by John Newton, published 22 Oct 2014