new zealand electronic poetry centre

Jane Gardner 

Friday 23 August  7.30-10pm  once and for all
Saturday 24 August  10.15 – 11.30am  scoop:  ten poets read new poem

Jane Gardner is a Wellingtonian, born in 1949. She grew up, married and had her family in Wellington, and says, "I’m not sure I could kick the habit of the place, even though two of my sons now live in London and Auckland."

Jane started writing at an early age, but didn’t take the idea of publication seriously until 1995, when she took Victoria University of Wellington’s Creative Writing course. She has since had poems published in Sport and Landfall.

Jane says, "It seems to have taken most of my life for me to appreciate just how significant is my expression of self and experience through writing. It has become my greatest personal priority apart from family life.

"The work itself seems to come from a place inside me where "mundane" experience is converted into poetry or story. Like Terry Jones’s character in Monty Python’s "Holy Grail", I just want to dream, which for most of my life was either a problem or simply impossible. Jorge Luis Borges in This Craft of Verse (his collected Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, 1967-1968) made the following statement: ‘Poetry is not alien – poetry is, as we shall see, lurking around the corner. It may spring on us at any moment.’

"That sums up the best of life experience for me, that the world is infused with poetry, that poetry, in all its myriad expressions is waiting, that I have only to be here to meet the opportunity for making it, over and over again."

Love song 46

You’ll get no stiff, cold, gaudy-papered
florist’s flowers from me, tortured flaxes, chewed-up
raffia bows. No!  Expect an oratorio of tea roses,
with barbs to hook you if you don’t take care;

thin, crisp stems, young mahogany
leaves, turning bronze green. Tight
buds with women’s names, full

blooms, each petal cream flushed pink, velvet,
frail. Scent like you, elusive honey-voice,
deep   sharp   sweet,
glorious breath of air.


© Jane Gardner 2002


Last updated 14 July, 2002