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Sam Hunt has always believed in the essential musicality of a good poem, a belief that has become more intense over the years.
Part 1 of this book, ‘the Chords’ that give this collection its title, are a loosely connected group of poems that he feels are best described as a musical score. Stripped down, bare and lyrical,
they all have their beginnings in the ‘chord’ heard before any words come.
These, and the other poems that make up Part 2, are the work of a masterful, mature poet, whose themes of ageing and death, the cycling of generations, and the ebb and flow of relationships
continue to have a strong pull for many, many New Zealanders.
Born 1946 at Castor Bay, Auckland - a coastal childhood - Sam was surrounded by poems. Both parents, in their different ways, and numerous (often colourful) family friends would often be telling poems out loud - usually from memory, by heart. The Catholic Mass played its part, too. For a man who has dubbed his poems "songs for the tone-deaf", he has worked with a wide range of musicians: with the Warratahs, on their album 'One of Two Things'; with Gareth Farr on 'Baxter'; with Split Enz and the NZSO on 'Enzso'; Anthony Ritchie and the Wellington Symphonia on 'Coming to it' - and so on! In early 2009 Sam was special guest for two highly acclaimed Leonard Cohen shows in New Zealand.
Sam Hunt is one of New Zealand’s best-known and best-loved poets. For over 40 years he has been touring the length and breadth of the country, performing his poems in pubs, theatres, schools and countless other venues. Fuelled always by his lifelong commitment to ‘lifting the words off the page and giving them a good listen to’, he has introduced poetry to generations of New Zealanders.