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Vincent O’Sullivan’s poem 'Homecoming - Te Hokinga Mai' was commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Culture and Heritage to mark the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Wellington on 11 November 2004. It has subsequently been used at ANZAC Day services.
"O’Sullivan’s poem is a commentary on the ‘homecoming’ of all those called to national service – the flickering edges of dawn at the border of recognition. It speaks to the moment of pride and humility of the soldiers return, the familiarity of New Zealand life after the tumult and dislocation of overseas campaigning – a salutatory to those who fought for origins worth returning to."
- New Zealand Online Journal of Multi- and Interdisciplinary Studies
This setting of the poem was written for performance near the one-hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. It was originally intended for an “out of town” concert by Auckland Choral close to the date of the anniversary. Homecoming - Te Hokinga Mai is dedicated to the choir and its conductor Uwe Grodd. It was premiered on October 14th 2018, with the orchestral version premiered on May 4th 2019.
for Auckland Choral and conductor Uwe Grodd
Text by Vincent O'Sullivan