Images & Video: Showtime For Saddleback Sonnets

Published: Fri 28 Sep 2012 02:34 PM

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If the Saddleback/Tieke does not win this year's Bird of the Year competition, it will not be for want of a bard.

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Tieke lobbyist Jackson James Wood launched a compilation of saddleback-themed poems today in Wellington's Cuba Mall, attracting a crowd of up to several people as he read from the volume.

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Spontaneous Saddleback Sonnet Sessions contains seven sonnets, and is a real book with an ISBN number and everything.

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The poems touch on a range of themes including mysticism, romance, violence and hope for the future.
Folk art? Propoganda? Postmodern artifact? Certainly, in the Browningesque dramatic monologue Shotgun Conservation, Wood does his part, as Man Booker Prize judge Sir Peter Stothard demands, to "renew the English language"; I refer to the golden moment where Wood rhymes 'kahikatea' with 'quesadilla'.

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A member of the audience described an unspecified sonnet as "the best poem about a saddleback I've ever heard". Following the reading someone gave Wood actual money in exchange for a copy of the book.

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You can vote for the saddleback (other birds are available) at, not like it says on the back of the book.
An electronic version of Spontaneous Saddleback Sonnet Sessions is available from Wood's website for koha.
Last year, Wood gave people rides on an actual saddle in Midland Park.
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