Here are the people who helped me with the project. First and foremost John McWade, internationally recognized in page design and typography. We have worked together on four similar projects. John narrates the poems for this project. Brilliantly narrates. Words can't express my admiration and gratitude for his friendship and artistry. And this time, I'm setting the type on the physical prints with letterpress,  and Bembo is the font.

How clear, how lovely bright A E Housman

Mending Wall  Robert Frost

The Glass Bead Game Hermann Hesse

There are roughly zones Robert Frost



Audio track for all poems

Download audio track.mp3 [4.12MB]

Rebecca Livingston


Rebecca’s musical tastes, both as a singer and a harpist, are eclectic. She has been lucky enough to play at a folk festival in Europe, as well as for weddings and other special events over many years. She particularly enjoys being a member of Roger Buckton’s group Folkworks, which plays a wide variety of Central European and Celtic folk music.

Roger Buckton, Musical Director


Dr Roger Buckton is an adjunct associate-professor at the School of Music, University of Canterbury. From 1996 to 2008, he was Head of the School. His career encompasses secondary school teaching, the music advisory service and College of Education.

Trained as a flute player, he also plays a number of Renaissance instruments including the recorder and the viol. For several years in Christchurch, he conducted the Renaissance choir – Schola Cantorum.

For the past 20 years, he has been a tour leader of parties of New Zealanders through to various parts of Europe. Tours in 2020 to the Caucasus’ and Northern Italy were cancelled due to the pandemic.

His research interests are based on the music of the New Zealand Bohemians who settled Puhoi in 1863. This work includes recording songs, music and dance as well as investigating performance practices and playing the Bohemian bagpipe - the dudelsack. His book, Bohemian Journey was published by Steele Roberts in 2013.

John Emeleus, Arrangements


John studied the composition of music and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London (1957-1960). His first publications date from this time and consisted of songs and piano music for children. His interest for composing and arranging music for younger students has continued throughout his career.

He came to New Zealand with his wife Janet in 1963. His career has been centred on music education until his retirement in 1998. The bulk of his compositions, including numbers for players with advanced skills, was written in the last fifteen years.

John owes Roger Buckton a huge debt of gratitude for his unfailing support of John’s music, his greatly valued friendship and also encouragement to further his music qualifications and to finally become a Mus.D at the venerable age of 82!

Terry Wall, Reflections


Rev Dr Terry Wall taught English and History at St Margaret’s College, Christchurch briefly in the 1970s.  After ordination he served in a number of Methodist parishes in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Staffordshire and as Maclaurin Chaplain at the University of Auckland.  He has served in a number of Connexional roles, including the role of convening the Faith and Order Committee of Te Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa for some twenty years. He retains an interest in typography and hand craft printing.

Reflection on Nothing Gold Can Stay

In the simplest but polished language Robert Frost examines the human condition.

The day serves as an image for life which he sees as innocent and maybe pure at the outset.

Dawn is the privileged moment of beauty and goodness which decay into ugliness and falsehood.

Gold focuses the freshness and innocence of first rays that are uncontaminated by time.

The golden sheen of original radiance, gives way to faded and disrupted experience.

The poem traces the inevitable transitory nature of life with its disappointment and pain, and sometimes anguish and despair.

Perhaps this mirrors the poet’s personal journey of depression related to family bereavements.

The mention of Eden references the doctrine of the Fall in which the image of God in each person is tarnished, damaged or in more radical theologies, even broken or lost entirely.

Is this pessimism or merely a robust realism? Does the poem leave room for personal growth that comes through age and reflection?

Reflection on As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Though Hopkins wrote this sonnet in Wales in 1877, it was not published until 1918.

The poem provides us with a comprehensive articulation of the poet’s spirituality.

Dynamic language is preferred to static: neither the self nor justice is abstract.

Verbs replace nouns as words are stretched: selves speak and act, justice is enacted.

At the outset images show that ‘each mortal thing’ expresses itself authentically.

As the poet Thomas Merton wrote, ‘A tree gives glory to God by being a tree’.

The second stanza turns toward human life, more complex, capable of self-deception.

When divine life is welcomed, each person becomes gracious in body, mind and spirit and rejoices in giving glory to God.

This sacramental vision demonstrates that the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, is present in every created thing drawing its inner life to express its true self.

Reflection on When You Are Old

Yeats wrote this poem in 1891 while still in a relationship with his mistress Maud Gonne.

She was a vivacious Irish beauty who shared his commitment to the Irish nationalist cause.

The poet’s pen is dipped in pain, for he knows that she has rejected his proposal of marriage.

The poem is a perhaps a final desperate love letter in which he seeks to prove that his love is deeper than that of her other lovers.

The poet sees beyond physical attractions to detect her inner beauty that will persist.

He implores her to reconsider her refusal.

Imagine, he says, years hence, looking back enduring life devoid of true love, regretting that she declined his offer.

The writer encourages us to think about the transience of youth, of missed opportunities.

Does the poet’s sorrow tip over into bleak resignation that borders on bitterness?