The Gold Leaves by Edward Jenner


ISBN: 978-0-9922453-7-5
161PP |  205mm x 150mm

The Gold Leaves is a study of ancient (c.400BC-300AD) verses, often fragmentary, incised on fragile gold leaves that have been found (and continue to be found) buried in graves and tombs in the culturally Greek parts of the Mediterranean world. These leaves have been placed carefully, perhaps on the chest, or in the mouth or in the hand, of the body. The leaves are messages designed to guide the souls of the dead on their journey to immortality and paradise.

Jenner has provided his own translation of a selected number of the texts on the gold leaves. He brings his skill as a poet to these translations. [ … ] For me the book is finally a book about poetry, about its potential and its limits, about its “charm” (in the sense of magic). – Murray Edmond


Edward Jenner graduated from the University of Otago in 1972 with MA (Hons) in both Greek and Latin. In the years 1973-77 he worked on two archeological digs in the Middle East and travelled widely in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He has spent most of the last ten years teaching Classics in Malawi at Kamuzu Academy and Chancellor College (a constituent of the University of Malawi). His publications include A Memorial Brass (Hawk Press, Eastbourne, 1980). Dedications (Omphalos Press, Auckland, 1991). The Love-Songs of Ibykos: 22 Fragments (Holloway Press, Auckland 1997). Sappho Triptych (Puriri Press, Auckland, 2007) and Writers in Residence and Other Captive Fauna (Titus Books, Auckland, 2009).