Innocence of Childhood
Today a woman died: glimpses of life at a rural mission hospital

A much needed firelight in PNG’s starless night


ABCDreams by WD Barry-Igivisa, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, ISBN: 978-1535429733, 221 pages. Available from Amazon Books for US$10 plus postage

AS PAPUA New Guinean writers and poets GO from strength to strength, this book of poems is yet another example of a young poet taking his work into the public forum with confidence and passion.

Wardley D Barry-Igivisa represents a second wave of poets emerging through the Crocodile Prize, although he has been honing his skills elsewhere for some years now.

In this book, we find selected poems that provide a kaleidoscope of our young poet’s vision.

We can say with great pride that, since the rekindling of PNG’s literary flame in 2010, a small spark has grown into a steady blaze and its cinders, carried by the winds of change, now flutter and flicker into dark Melanesian skies.

This firelight is much needed under the starless night in which PNG finds itself wandering.

These selected poems take us from the birth of Wardley’s ‘dreams’ and their conception in poetry through dark and light times.

We share in his musings, merriments and misgivings, take a stroll through his memory, and survey ourselves from his eyes.

This book, amongst a host of others released over the last five years through Pukpuk Publications, comes at a time when people’s dreams have been disregarded by those who should help our people to make life’s dreams become possibilities.

The future of PNG’s citizens, our families, parents and youth, seems bleak, and life is increasingly harder for many communities who hope and aspire towards a better, fairer and more just society, or even to imagine what a Melanesian version of such a future might be like.

Dreams reflect our hidden thoughts and feelings, the doubts, dilemmas and devilry of being human.

But dreams are also a means of coming to terms with ourselves and how we envision the way we want to be, quite often by revealing alternate versions of what may or may not be real. In this way dreams help us to imagine and to perceive ourselves in another light.

Dreamers are much needed in society because they push the boundaries of what is real by what may be possible in our imaginations.

They challenge us with our darkest thoughts and forebodings, our wildest and most desirable possibilities, especially when faced with cold probabilities and harsh reality, because even with the need for hard pragmatism it is our intangible dreams which inspire us towards better. And that is always a good thing.

Wardley BarryPoems are an avenue for us to ponder, plumb and pun on life’s varied scenarios.

Poets are dreamers who can communicate in the illogical language of dreams just as palpably as they dramatise life and reveal what lies hidden in the depths of our souls.

Poets aid us to look at the world through the eyes of our subconscious mind and with an open heart. But poets also ask us to fully appreciate our conscious environment with a conscience. They have their feet firmly planted in both the dream world and the waking world.

Wardley is one such poet.


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Michael Dom

Wardley, you're very welcome. But 'great' sounds like an epitaph. I've got some skill and glad to share that with you. It's all good.

Wardley Barry

Thanks Michael. It has taken a while for me be confident that my works can make a good read. You and writers on PNG Attitude have been very helpful. I hope to follow in the footsteps of greats like you.

Michael Dom

Congratulations, Wardley, on putting this collection of poems together for publication.

There is poetry in the adventures and misadventures of life which we all experience, but it takes the willing hand and heart of a good poet or writer to express and share these life stories.

You have the distinction of being a published poet.

Well done and keep going.

You've added more fuel to the fire for PNG writers and poets.

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