Polynesian Legends

Polynesian Legends

A. Stanley Sherratt's powerful early sequence of Māori myths/legends has remained unpublished since 1924, when it was first serialized in the Christchurch Star.

Discovered in 2013 by editor Mark Pirie who has republished the text, this new publication includes an introduction by Māori literary scholar Dr Michael O'Leary, giving details of Sherratt's life along with a brief history of Aotearoa legend telling in English.

"Earl of Seacliff and Mark Pirie are to be commended for unearthing this valuable trove of Pākehā representations of Māori mythology and legend, not merely because they have never been committed to print in any sequential book format previously, but more especially because the representations contained within are manifestly without the devious elaborations and misguided romantic capital (Curnow, 1960) of many of Sherratt's near contemporaries such as Domett. Indeed, Sherratt, for all his iambic pentameter and rhyming couplet, remains true to the Weltanschauung of the original and oral Indigenous élan of these mighty vignettes. Ka nui te pai te mahi kei konei!" - Vaughan Rapatahana

About the Author

A. Stanley (Sherry) Sherratt b. 1891 was a Canterbury Railways clerk/official. He was educated and grew up in Kaiapoi, and afterwards spent much of his working life in Christchurch. Railways posted him to a number of places outside of Christchurch, including Invercargill, Greymouth and Kaiapoi from where he published his Polynesian Legends sequence. During WWI, he served as a probationary officer in the territorial forces, Corps of New Zealand Engineers, New Zealand Railways Battalion (South Island). Sherratt published the bulk of his poetry in the Christchurch Star newspaper 1923-24, and was part of the Star group of poets 1922-26. Stan Sherratt later retired to Nelson with his family.

Note: This book is a joint publication between Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop in Association with HeadworX Publishers.

Download and view the free pdf of this book (on the right - file size 824KB).