Back Country Poems

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If you're a fan of New Zealand's back country, history and landscape — Barry from Waihi has written a book of poetry which captures the essence of back country beauty.

The self-published book is called Back Country Poems.

''When I recite some of these poems to old guys, especially shearers, just about all of them have been reduced to tears,'' Barry says.

''They're taken back to a place where they spent their youth.''

Fifty-nine poignant poems published in Back Country Poems are a nod to ''the bush, the men and the past'' (the book's subheading).

Barry's stomping ground as a young hunter was Urewera and Raukūmara where he formed a deep connection to the outdoors.

His appreciation of the wilderness was cemented when, with wife and fan Lorraine, bought a block in a remote valley of the Raukumara ranges. Barry has a trade background in carpentry and they built three cabins here.

The couple and their three sons enjoyed everything the rural lifestyle. Their surroundings and people they met inspired Barry to write poetry which captured the essence of the back country.

The family also had a relationship with local iwi and Barry has written poetry on this too, as well as historic New Zealand events such as the wars.

A few of the poems are called The Takaputahi, The Rata, The Hut, The Woolshed, The Battle of Gate Pa and Te Kooti and the Land Wars.

There's some funny ones in there as well including The Long Drop and Fifty Shades of Grey.

A particularly poignant poem called Hard Times of the Past detail the Kiwi soldiers who fought in World War I, who returned home but lost their land.

Barry describes his poems as ''landscape poems''.

He's inspired by Australian poet Banjo Paterson whose famous poems are also inspired by rural and outback areas include The Man from Snowy River.

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