Friday, 14 October 2016

Helen Kelly 1964 - 2016

Helen Kelly - Trade unionist. Who reminded us how good the best can be.


The Truly Great

By STEPHEN SPENDER
          
I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light, where the hours are suns,
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit, clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.
 
What is precious, is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog, the flowering of the spirit.
 
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,
See how these names are fêted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.




This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road.

10 comments:

Jack Scrivano said...

She really was an important New Zealander.

BlisteringAttack said...

As an important activist Helen Kelly's passing should be the major news item of the day.

It'll be interesting to see if TV1 or TV3's 6pm neolib news report her passing or completely ignore her tonight.

Patricia said...

A wonderful woman who will be sadly missed.

Polly said...

very sad RIP.

peter petterson said...

She will be badly missed and well remembered. RIP Helen kelly. I hope her fight will be continued.

Neil Abel said...

One of the great few who breathed in the utter belief that "The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too."

Anonymous said...

Yes. Was very struck by what she did for forestry workers - mostly working class men going out and dying for $18/hour.
And the poem by Spender is perfect Chris.

Unknown said...

It will be disappointing also if they ignore her life-long tireless efforts for workers and concentrate only on the cannabis issue. That would be typically disingenuous.

Bushbaptist said...

Helen was a great person and she will be sadly missed.

My condolences to her family.

greywarbler said...

That was a well-chosen tribute Chris. I am sure she would have liked the poem and Judy Collins singing the anthem for women. A wonderful woman.
Sorry to lose you Helen.