An Ordinary Storm first appeared as a verse play in New Zealand in 2007. It has been substantially pruned and edited to produce this beautiful and striking series of poems based on Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest. The fact that Hilary divides her time between the UK and New Zealand is reflected in several of the poems, particularly in her knowledge and understanding of aspects of Maori culture. She has spent considerable time in small boats but has not, fortunately, been shipwrecked.
Sample poem: Captain
An Ordinary Storm (2010)
“All so fully imagined and impeccably realised, nothing overstated or mis-stated – not by a single word. A wonderful piece of work, of great spirituality.” John Wakeman, editor of The Shop
“I can’t fault her physics, and the meticulous research has become poetry. Extraordinary accomplishment.” Edward Burge, Emeritus Professor of Physics London University
Extract from “Miranda and her Maid”
The sun is trying to pull himself up
over the misting fields.
Great beasts tread heavily,
one behind the other, groaning.
The sound of their necklets
makes my throat ache.
It is the bellbirds in a July dawn.
The birds of the first light
would shout to force the morning.
He taught me to speak softly near them – ‘Kuihi’
he would whisper to remind me
and sometimes when I whispered
or sang quietly to myself he would nod
saying ‘kuihi, kuihi’.
Hilary Elfick appeared in full colour on Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper. See the article here: Joffa and the Collingwood cheer squad are music to a poet’s ears