Friday, February 15, 2013

Christchurch Earthquake - A Public Poem

It is coming up to the two year anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake that occured on 22 Febuary 2011. The quake took 185 lives. Kirsty Dunne won the right to have the following verse on the exterior of the empty shell that was 'Sedley Wells Music Works' as part of poetica - a project that adorns unexpected places with art and verse.

Amidst the shards of glass
& twisted steel
beside the fallen brick
& shattered concrete
we began to understand
that there is beauty in the broken
Strangers do not live here anymore

It's a spot-on snapshot of the Christchurch experience two years on after the earthquake - according to Julietta Johnson reporting in the Canberra Times (Sat 9 February) after a visit to the city to report on the state of the city. Here is a link to the article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Just as in the creation of the Arboretum in Canberra following the bushfires beauty can be created from natural disaster, but what I think Kirsty is talking about is above the material broken. It is in the last line - community relationships have developed bringing people together to face the future and this is the emerging beauty.

Footnote -
In my mind a public poem should...
. be accessible to a general audience
. relate to the public place of presentation
. be brief with immediate impact
. make a statement of relevance
. promote thought

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