How to occupy our selves

by David Howard and Fiona Pardington

Wellington: HeadworX , 2003. RRP: $NZ 29.95


Bird In Fist

From the review by Terry Locke:

This book is a collection of 18 poems, many in sequences (by Howard) and 17 photographs (by Pardington). Apart from the cover photograph, all are grouped together. Nonetheless, there is an implicit invitation to view the photographs and poems as operating in a “complementary” way. Indeed, a point of entry into this compelling book is the last paragraph of Howard's acknowledgments, where he writes: “My most extensive debt, however, is to Fiona Pardington for devoting two years to photographing in response to inchoate drafts from this pernickety collaborator.”

Howard then proceeds to note the genesis of the collaboration, providing a direct quotation from Pardington:


I especially enjoy the beautiful language of the Song of Songs, the imagery has been an inspiration to me. The wedding motif is a description of the completion of the individuation process, of an ultimate union of psychic opposites, and the entrance into a state of divine wholeness. That seems to me to be a corner-stone for the enormous attraction of religious belief Ė the hope of a complete union.



Click here for the reviews by Terry Locke and Peter Simpson


Click here for two poems, © David Howard 2003

Click here for the full-size photograph 'Bird in Fist', © Fiona Pardington 2003

Click here for the photograph 'Akura Portrait', © Fiona Pardington 2003

Price(discounted): $NZ 25.95

+ Postage & Packaging:
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There You Go

a musical collaboration, by David Howard and Marta Jirackova


The opening poem of this collection, “There You Go” (see our two sample poems above) has recently been set to music by the Czech composer Marta Jirackova.

Please contact David Howard for a free download of the score in 19 tif files, © David Howard (text) and Marta Jirackova (music).


‘The only preface of a work is the readerís brain’ wrote the Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa. He was right; even though I wrote them I canít tell you anything essential about this or that image. My poems are orphans on a never-ending journey towards the idea of their father. As part of that journey they may encounter another artist. “There You Go” happened upon the Czech composer, Marta Jirackova, who heard the poem in her head then wrote:


I decided to do it with the whole poem in this way: there will be several parts for different voices and instruments – accordingly to the particular subject. I mean, the final result would be a chain of several spirituals by using the different devices. I don't know if I'll be able to explain it to you. I'm always sorry because of the language barrier among us, but it makes me happy to try [to] overcome it. [28 November 2004]


Marta Jirackova (born 1932, Kladno) studied at the Prague Conservatory of Music under Emil Hlobil. After graduating in 1959, she worked with Alois Haba before entering the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno, where her teachers were Ctirad Kohoutek and Alois Pinos. Her composition “The Ship of Fools” was awarded the 1992 Prize of the Czech Music Fund.


Click for a sample of the score: pages 1 , 2 , 3