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wasn’t this the site, asked the historian

by Olivia Goldsmith (New Zealand)

May 2023

Write the World Review

Audio: “wasn’t this the site, asked the historian,” read by Olivia Goldsmith

picture this:
a book of poems, plucked from a shelf
open to a familiar page,
the paper gently yellowed.
a singular voice fills the soft air
in this cold midnight winter.

picture this:
a young afternoon, quietly beginning
to fill with rain.
a man recites to the little child
the poem that he learned
when the book’s pages were clean and new.

picture this:
a different man, long ago
thinks about settlers, thinks about change
and thinks about House and Land.
he writes it down,
and the words become of everybody.

picture this:
now we are driving home
we are thinking about wind
in the nor-west; a lost dog
hiding in a barrel
we recite the poem, together.
it is perfect.

The poem is “House and Land” by Allen Curnow, and always specifically the last verse.

Olivia Goldsmith, age 18, is a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand studying English and Physics. Olivia loves reading, climbing, and most of all swimming in the sea. At the centre of this piece of writing is the poem ‘House and Land‘ by Allen Curnow.

#Identity          #Memory

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9/17/23, 8:43 AM

Powerful. Spreading the truth some don't think about, some don't have to worry about. A great and strong piece.

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

Aisha Yaakub

8/25/23, 10:35 PM

Excellent and amazing

8/17/23, 7:00 AM

Absolutely beautiful poem! The words were picked meaningfully and used it a descriptive way. Very relatable.


8/11/23, 4:59 AM

Beautiful, moving and thought provoking. Keep up the amazing work!

8/11/23, 4:48 AM

Absolutely beautiful work! Relatable for some and eye-opening for others.


6/19/23, 6:26 PM

It is really great, I'm impressed!

Eunice N Kitchener

6/11/23, 5:13 PM

Quite amazing and interesting story. It's also a challenge to others. Develop your skills through hard work.


6/8/23, 7:21 AM

Beautiful. A wonderful portrait of the identity crisis caused by colonialism.


5/26/23, 6:23 AM

Congratulations Claire - this is a powerful piece - this feeling of a yearning for a home that may not even exist anymore will be something that everyone who lives outside of their original homeland will resonate with. Well done.

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