About this blog

My only daughter's name is Clea. Clea was six years and nine months old and she was enjoying a family holiday in Samoa when the ocean surged as a wall, ten metres high, and drowned her. Many other people died that morning of 29 September 2009.
The other four members of her family survived the tsunami.
Life has never been the same since. It will never be the same. This blog features memories, reflections, poetry, etc...
Just let me stay with her under this moon,
hold her in my arms, spin her in the air,
with my dear daughter in some timeless swoon.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

An Amazing Voice, an Amazing Woman

A few days ago I was again wonderfully surprised by someone whose musical skills and talents are only matched by her profound sense of understanding and her big-hearted display of friendship.

More than a year ago, months after I had written and printed Lalomanu, I learned that musician and composer Faye Bendrups had put music to one of my poems, ‘Roto’ [‘Broken’]. Faye transformed my poem into a beautiful milonga, a type of Argentinean melody that preceded the internationally better-known tango.

‘Roto’ was first performed at University House, in Canberra, in 2011. There is a video on Youtube that I recorded (here) and, despite its poor quality, you can get an idea of Faye’s amazing voice and musical flair in TangoMundo’s extraordinarily beautiful rendition of the poem. Even today I cannot comprehend how Faye was able to give such beautiful music to my words.

While in a recent visit to Melbourne, Faye surprised us again by giving the most beautiful gift a friend artist can give: she has put music to another one of my poems in Lalomanu, ‘Epilogue’. ‘Epilogue’ is the final poem in the book. I could never thank Faye enough for the gift she has created and shared.

Given the muted response Lalomanu received from some quarters, I am not only immensely moved but also forever grateful for this amazing woman’s respectful, artistic homage to my poems. I still believe the Lalomanu poems are simply words of immense sorrow, of unspeakable terror, of indescribable pain.

Let the world know that I feel privileged beyond measure. Thank you so very much, Faye.

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