Ian Wedde



IAN WEDDE is a freelance writer living in Wellington. His most recent books of poetry are The Commonplace Odes (Auckland University Press, 2001) and Three Regrets and a Hymn to Beauty (Auckland University Press, 2005), where ‘A Hymn to Beauty: Days of a Year’ was published. A new novel, The Viewing Platform, will be published by Penguin in September 2006.

Wedde comments: ‘ “A Hymn to Beauty” recycles remembered and misremembered lines from many songs, by Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, Sneaky Feelings, John Lennon, Lou Reed, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Dorsey, Courtney Love, and several others. My thanks to the lyricists. There are remembered (and misremembered) fragments from philosophers and poets of the sublime, especially William Wordsworth and John Ruskin. Religious texts are also remembered, including the Bible, the Tao-Te Ching, Dhammapada, Pali canon, and Tanakh. Like beauty, these fragments are imperfect.

The form of  “Hymn to Beauty” can be sourced in any number of versions of magazine and newspaper pages that repeat a formula of horoscopes, “today in history” lists, thought-of-the-day, cryptic crosswords and birthdays of the famous. Read obsessively and cumulatively, these newspaper pages gain an eerie precision, like accurately coded ghost messages.’


Poem: A Hymn to Beauty: Days of a Year



Auckland University Press


New Zealand Book Council writer file

nzepc – new zealand electronic poetry centre: link to online poems

Best New Zealand Poems 2001

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