Yesterday’s Poetry World Cup game produced one of the most dramatic results of the round: Nigeria, represented by David Ishaya Osu, were out of the blocks quickly against India, taking 9 of the first 10 votes and holding their lead through most of the voting. India left it late to come back, but took the lead this morning and clung on to win by 8 votes and move into the next round, joining neighbours Pakistan.
Today, we move a few hundred miles to the East as Indonesia and New Zealand play for the right to face India in round two. Indonesia’s poet is Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi, whose debut collection was recently described as ‘fresh air on the page.’ She has previously worked as a scriptwriter on an Indonesian sitcom, and performed her poetry for the first time in 2011 at Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. She currently lives in Naples.
New Zealand are represented by Iain Britton, an Auckland-based teacher who has been called ‘one of New Zealand’s finest writers.’ In his own words, he has ‘always been fascinated by mysteries, enigmas, man’s place on earth and the interminable questions we keep asking.’ He is the author of four books of poetry, and his debut book was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2008.
my superlative love
I hope the cells in your body
can mingle well with all the things around you
I hope your thinking
is not limited by east, west, northwest,
southwest, south, and north…
~ Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi
smack at flies
i’ve taken to unpicking mirrors
the smiles / the grimaces
i’ve stuffed your tourist dolls
into the magician’s hat…
~ Iain Britton
RESULT: Indonesia won by 30 votes