The Commonplace Odes
The Commonplace Odes was the first collection in eight years from major New Zealand poet Ian Wedde. It is a stunning collection: a group of odes, deliberately patterned but expressed in an easy, warm, contemporaryy voice, prefaced by an epode which, like a musical overture, traverses the themes and phrases of the work to follow, interspersed with two epistles light in tone and concluded with a moving song of lament and hope. Connections with Wedde's earlier verse are evident – the enormous pleasure in the rich world of senses, for example – but these poems also show the gravity and wisdom of an older man beginning to think about age, death and the passing of the generations.
More about Ian Wedde
In a major work, fresh with sinuous lamentations of evanescent childhood, Ian Wedde has framed the twin poles of life and mortality in the ordinariness of kiwi barbecues, the scary exoticism of vultures disembowelling carrion in Assam – and reminds us of how rich each moment is, and what a world-class poet he can be. – Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, The Press