Opus: A life in music by Pip Griffin

 The award winning poet Pip Griffin delighted me with one of the first copies of her new poetry collection,

A life with music

Using a creative metaphor, I am proud to say I was one of the midwives in its  creative  growth and  Pip’s  birthing of the book.   The joys and nurturing of music in our lives  always came through as Pip’s poetic ideas grew .

A  great combination of life and music, a mood and a mode,  a singular voice,  that draws her readers like me to each new poem she writes. 
I am thrilled for Pip and honoured to be her friend.
 Opus: A life with music is a stunning collection, beautifully written and withheld.’ – Libby Sommer
‘“Through music, we can say what we didn’t even know we felt.” – Ed Le Brocq. What more powerful way to reflect on your journey of life than entwined with the memory of music. Exquisitely wrought, Opus gives us snapshots, sometimes softened, sometimes shocking but always honed and beautifully crafted, revealing a deep perception and intimacy as we have come to know of Pip Griffin’s poetry.’ – Colleen Keating
‘Pip Griffin’s Opus is a gently written verse memoir of her childhood in New Zealand to her mature years in Australia. References to Chopin, Mahler, Gustav Holst, Elvis Presley and many others justify its subtitle, “a life with music”. Touches of sadness, including her partner’s death and her mother’s thwarted dreams, balance the collection’s positive tone. This is poetry to read over a few winter evenings by the fire or summer afternoons in the shade of a tree.’ – Norm Neill
Opus is Pip Griffin’s eighth poetry publication. Her books include Virginia & Katherine: The Secret Diaries (Pohutukawa Press 2022), Winner, Society of Women Writers NSW Book Awards (poetry) 2022; Margaret Caro, the extraordinary life of a pioneering dentist (Pohutukawa Press 2020) Highly Commended, Society of Women Writers NSW Book Awards (poetry) 2020; Mood Indigo (Picaro Poets 2019) with Colleen Keating and The Climb Back: poems for Ted (Ginninderra Press 2021).
Two of Pip’s poems Libertango and The Dave Brubeck Quartet were published in the  recent
Women’s Ink,  Autumn 2023


One winter’s evening
in an old asylum’s grounds
there’s a hub of warmth –
coffee, conversation, music

where a diminutive young woman
dances her bow across her double bass
syncopating with guitar
playing the Libertango.

They have the audience –
folk followers, musicians
poets, singers
maybe even shades of troubled souls

clapping, tapping their feet
swaying, smiling
surrendering their bodies to the seductive beat
of a sultry Buenos Aires night.

Pip Griffin

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

At twenty she shares a flat with friends
in half a house that clambers up the hill in Thorndon

adds a Brubeck record to her Bach and Brahms
buys a ticket to his Town Hall concert

and sits alone amongst expectant fans
taut as drum skins begging to be played.

Brain on fire with crooked rhythms
her body jitterbugs to teasing riffs

the dry martini saxophone stirs her spine
dizzying drumming pummels her solar plexus

and there is Brubeck – bespectacled face beaming
striding syncopated chords across the keyboard.

Pip Griffin

available through ginninderrapress/our books

978 1 76109 570 2, 86pp



 Pip is waiting for reviews of Opus: A life in music  but I share one early,  very special response from a friend that was one of the first readers of Opus and found it an enrichment to her life. What more beautiful words can one say.
Then, along comes Opus. Start to read. Read, read, read to the end. Close the book. Hold it in my hand. It’s like a living, breathing thing. Reading Opus has left me with the distinct impression I’ve been allowed into my dear friend’s inner circle.
The music references are genuinely intertwined with the sensuousness being evoked, and the life’s chapters being retold. 
If I can get to particulars, dear Pip, it’s the frankness about your childhood, teenage life, distant siblings, old and troubled parents, that infuses your writing with such authenticity. My family experience was similar in some aspects, but I could never write about it in such an honest way. The music accompanying each chapter brings enrichment to the experience of reading your words, and moves the story of your ‘life with music’ along at a healthy pace, and carries the reader with you.
I’ll treasure your Opus, Pip, so thank you for your gift.