Best New Zealand Poems 2002
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EMMA NEALE was born in 1969, and has lived in various New Zealand cities, as well as in California and England. She has a PhD from University College, London, and works in Dunedin as a freelance editor and writer. Random House NZ have published her two collections of poetry and her two novels. In 2000 she held the Todd/Creative New Zealand New Writer’s Bursary.

Neale comments: ‘“Brooch”, which is from my second book of poems, is perhaps best illuminated by a quotation from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, which has always been eerily resonant for me (the memory and body a timpani, Brontë the quiet timpanist):

I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

Of course dreams are notoriously punning phenomena. A brooch is “an ornamental fastening, consisting of a safety pin with the clasping part variously fastened and enriched” (from this the words “safety” and “clasping” leap out at me; the dream in the poem is one about vulnerability and loss). Yet the various meanings of the verb (to broach) are themselves synonymous with the actions of dreams: “to veer suddenly; to pierce or thrust through; to give publicity to, or begin discussion about”. It seems to me that dreams often make us confront territory which the daily bustle diverts us from, or which we might deliberately try to skirt in our conscious lives. Dreams can behave like tough inner mentors that push us to our psychological limits.’



New Zealand Book Council

Random House

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