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Bordering on Miraculous by Lynley Edmeades and Saskia Leek


Bordering on Miraculous is the new release in the kōrero series edited by Lloyd Jones. It brings together the equal talent of both Lynley Edmeades’ poetry and Saskia Leek’s paint art into a beautiful collaboration which Jones refers to as ‘prospecting’.


The book is beautiful from cover to cover. Its presentation, its content, its art are all magnificent. Certainly the poetry of Edmeades is accessible and crafted with such poignancy and control.


One stands out as just so simple and timeless:


The cup holds some quietness

in the way that some edges hold

roundness. Bring it to your lips

and consider the cinch and slide

of your mouth on its edge.

Even the word has a cupness to it,

surrounded as it is with its

palatable plosives: cup, cup.

(Edmeades: Bordering on Miraculous)


Leek’s paintings are expressive and vivid in their presentation of the poetry in artist form. They swirl and luxuriate in the imagery presented by Edmeades and do a wonderful job of evoking the impressions from the poems.


There is a tangible closeness between these two artists. Interviews with the both of them talk about the natural connection between the two art forms and the way that they were able to bring the project to life. Discussions on favourite places, authors and the like created more of a relationship between image and word that permeates the pages of this wonderfully crafted creation.


As an overarching premise of the book, there is a celebration of the quotidian, of the daily practices we all share, the recognition of the world around us with new eyes. From the coffee cup (as above) to the fruit bowl where “bananas always go on top” reminds the reader of that miraculousness of life and all its trimmings.


It’s a unique book. It has the feeling of something lasting, hopeful, and vital in this world of ours with its troubles, problems and (at times) hopelessness. The melding together of these art forms creates this new hybridity of evocative concepts and honouring the simple; the lifegiving.


Overall, take the time to appreciate art in its truest sense. The expression of life in its fullness and - as the title suggests Bordering on Miraculous.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

Massey University Press