Synopses & Reviews
A little bubbly, a little bitter, a little absurd, and echoing with the sound of laughter, these poem-songs have shaggy tales to tell. Shaggy Magpie Songs is a celebration of poetry’s potential – for drama and comedy, narrative and nonsense. Presented in four parts – Praise, Nonsense, Blues and Pop – the poems are at times jazzy and rollicking, at other times crooningly melancholic. Edmond writes: ‘Songs are poems that are incomplete without their music, so I think of these poems as all wanting to get off the page and start singing and dancing. The magpies of Aotearoa are silly (and slightly dangerous) birds who have given rise to the most profound line in the New Zealand poetry canon: Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle . . . . I like to think the poems are the kind of songs that magpies might sing if they were into making up words: a little bubbly, a little bitter, a little absurd, and echoing with the sound of laughter: songs with shaggy tales to tell.’
About the Author
Murray Edmond was born in Hamilton in 1949. He has published five books of poems including Fool Moon (a finalist in the 2005 Montana New Zealand Book Awards); co-edited the influential anthology Big Smoke: New Zealand Poems 1960–1975; and is the editor of the peer-reviewed, online journal of poetics Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics. He works as the dramaturge for Indian Ink Theatre Company, whose latest play, Kiss the Fish, was awarded Best New Play of 2014 in the Chapman Tripp Awards.