Aloe: & Other Poems

Diana Bridge


‘Her poetry has an incredible minimalistic power, a feeling each piece has been carefully crafted and worked. I was reminded often of the paintings of Max Gimblett.’ – Matt Bowler, Nelson Mail


An aloe – spiky, soothing, fragrant, bitter – opens and names Diana Bridge’s fifth collection of poetry. Structured in four parts, Aloe: & Other Poems asks why and how we look at the world – and how we may catch in words what we see. ‘To look is to be caught inside a wave’, Bridge declares, and invites the reader to look along with her as she considers Indian temples, trees in Wellington’s Botanical Gardens, a cellist, an enduring classical poem and a superb Chinese pot.

Other themes – of loss, generation and repetition – run through the collection like Ariadne’s threads. Bridge uses the voices and stories of Penelope and Medea, a warlord and a concubine, the Freuds and the furies, to convey psychological and physical suffering, chronicling the trauma and delight of birth and the curious reappearance of family traits. In this fine collection of new work, Bridge constantly observes and mediates the juncture points of the world from the ‘raw edge of wonder’.



A Wellingtonian by upbringing and inclination, Diana Bridge lives there again after many years stationed overseas with her diplomat husband in London, Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong, Delhi and Taipei. Bridge has a PhD in Chinese Literature from the Australian National University and has studied, researched and taught Chinese language, literature and art history and early Indian art history. She has published five acclaimed books of poetry with AUP: Landscape with Lines (1996), The Girls on the Wall (1999), Porcelain (2001), Red Leaves (2005) and Aloe (2009).


Winner, Gold Pride in Print Award: Book Category 2010


July 2009, 230 x 165 mm, 72 pages
Paperback, ISBN 9781869404413, $24.99