Speaking in a new language, Anahera Gildea

Puna Wai Kōrero: An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English
Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (eds)
Auckland University Press, $50.00,
ISBN 9781869408176

To my nieces and nephews,

Some of you speak English and some of you are bilingual but, either way, all of you are Māori.

By the time you’re grown, things may have changed so radically that wars, racism, fundamentalism, terrorism, sexism, and all the isms have receded, along with an ignorant past (fingers crossed). Regardless, you will have been shaped by your ancestors, parents, teachers, neighbours, celebrities, and influences of every kind, including the entire history of human thought delivered via the English canon. You will have access to multiple canons but, here in the former colonies, it’s compulsory to absorb the history of western thought specifically. You get marked on it.


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