About the Poem
About the poet
Hone Tuwhare (1922 — 2008) is New Zealand’s pre-eminent Maori poet; his tribal affiliations are...
We are stroking, caressing the spine
of the land.
We are massaging the ricked
back of the land
with our sore but ever-loving feet:
hell, she loves it!
Squirming, the land wriggles
We love her.
This poem refers to the Awakening — the Maori land march that began at Te Hapua, the northernmost settlement of Te Aupouri, on 14 September 1975 and ended at Parliament Buildings, Wellington on 17 October.
‘Papa-Tu-A-Nuku’, from Small Holes in the Silence: Collected Works (Godwit, Random House, 2011), © Hone Tuwhare 2011, used by permission of Rob Tuwhare on behalf of the Estate of Hone Estate. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives 2004.
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