Library of Congress lectures; Alan Kernow on New Zealand poets, part two
A very near contemporary of. MASON. Was the fab then. Who died in 1957. And. Seven was a remarkable mixture. Of. Romantic lyricist. She a clown in Venice. A. Writer of. Mild satiric epigrams and tomfoolery of every description. But at his best a remarkably witty right. And. A remarkably. Engaging personality. The two sonnets which don't really represent him. No two short poems could really child like to read you one.
I. Called the estuary. A melange because their romantic little lyric which seems to mean on the latest to. Have a quality which is sad. And unusual. The wind has died. No motion in the summers. Maybe bare. Silver of the sea grass the share of the driftwood fixed in the Mons. Think. Long after when the worlds of the small house of a have collapsed upon us each a leaden fog on the sea invasion the slow bedding and feeling that this water will still be crawling up the years today fingering its way among the channels licking the stones and the floating shelters under the giant moon still shore would glide among the mangroves on the creeping tide.
The noise of gallows comes through the darkness over the dunes and the sea. Now the clouded moon is warm in our nation's delight the world's a shell. Where distant waves are running of a time beyond this time. Give me the ghost of your hand. Unreal unreal the Dion's the sea the mangroves the Mons white light. Rail. Beneath our naked feet the sand. And the brief lyric. An impatient exasperated little lyric. The older poet to the young man on the general theme. Of the island who wishes to get away. And he called it I'm out of the new please listen.
To the young man I would say get out look sharp my boy before the roots before the equations are struck before a face or a landscape has to shape or destroy. This land as a lump without Levon a body that has no nerves. Don't be content to live in a sort of second grade heaven with first grade but a fresh air and paper in every toilet becoming a butt for the malice of those who have stayed and staying in turned to smile and savage the young. If you're enterprising and able to smuggle your talents away Hawkwoman livelier markets where people are willing to pay if you have no stomach for rapid patients. Isn't your religion if you must have shared it with your betters if money and fame are your pigeon. If you feel that you need success and long for a good address don't Danka here in the desert. The fishing isn't so good. Take a ticket
the megalopolis don't stay in this neighborhood. And again I would like to read you. One only which can possibly do they. Just use. It's an early. By Dennis Glover. It's called the magpies. Glover's verbalise ation if I could call it that of the Magpies song. And there's the noise that magpies make I shan't attempt to whistle. Or do anything with it except. Read it as a verbal refrain. I think it sounds very like a magpie's song. It's a sad little ballad.
When Tom and Elizabeth took the farm the bracken made their bed. And Board allude a lot of the Magpies say. And was strong to the plows. Elizabeth's lips were red and Waterloo the lot of little doodle the magpie say. But oh the beautiful crop soon went to the mortgage man in St.. And poor deluded little the magpies. Elizabeth is dead now. It's years ago ole Tom went to light in the head and poured a little a little. The Magpies stayed. The farms still their. Mortgage corporations couldn't give it away. And poor deluded little doodle. The Magpies say.
And no because. I have the good luck to be here in person. I would like to. Read you. A few poems of my own. And the first one. Is on a theme. Not very dissimilar to that of the magpies. It's a different story altogether. It's the time. 25 years ago or so. When the history of the place. And I suppose my own family history. Can set me very deeply and it did seem to me that it was one of the things a poet could do if there was nothing else he could do that he should attempt to annotate. The story and the scene of his country after all. And to quote He has plenty of examples for us. I
call those little house and land. Wasn't this the site the historian. Of the original homestead. Couldn't tell us of the Garmin I just live here he said. Working for old Miss Wilson since the old man's been dead. Moping under the blue gums the dog trailed his chain from the privy as far as the file house and back to the privy again. Feeling the stagnant afternoon quicken with the smell of rain. There sat. Miss Wilson. With her pictures on the wall. The baronet. Uncle. Mother's side. And one she called. The whole taking tea from a silver pot for fear the House might fall. People in the colony she see. Can't quite understand. Why
from why out of the mountains it was all father's land. She's all of a trace of the common of the milking shed. I'm leaving here next winter to bloody quiet he said. The spirit of exile wrote the historian is strong in the people still. He reminds me rather said Miss Wilson of Harriet's youngest wheel. The one home from the shade went drinking with the rabbit from the Hill. The sensitive Norway stuff the noon collapsed and the rain came. The dog crept into his battle looking lost and lame. But you come to attribute to either an awareness of what great gloom stands in the land of scepters. With never so much.
The idea of. Discovery. Voyages the Pacific voyages and discoveries. Preoccupied me a good deal I suppose at this time. This. Little poem called discovery could be about New Zealand. It could be about any discovery any island. I think. How she like a path the discovery of violence. History had many instinctive processes past reasons range green innocence of nerves. Now although destroyed by self-analysis. Or out of God the separated streams honeyed valleys may know an Egyptian and latterly Polynesia like ocean rains flowing became one
flood and one swift corruption. Or the mad beating bed of the mind. Still finding the unknown intolerable burst into a vast cage contained by seeds prisoned by planets within the measurable. Or gallop. With needles guns and glass for Sting trinkets up from the amazing hatches luring dull kings and popes all palm tree pages so them the age of reason from the beaches. Dazzle them all in the discoverers eye. When his blind child lazies foam and suddenly spill down the retreating made a. Landfall undreamed or anchor John. Compare compare. Now how to build on truth rings true without obliterating season. Our irons lost again. All one.
And all our travel. Second navigation. There was a great bed in New Zealand called them. I'm not at all sure. Not carrying any of the carbon dating figures in my head exactly when it became extinct. I think three or four hundred years ago. Polynesian forebears. Hunted it for game. And very big game it was too. It was roughly the build of an ostrich. I think the large one the grape was a bit taller than most ostrich ears. And its bone structure was much heavier more like the bone structure of a small horse
than that of any bed. I used to see this great skeleton. Along with an egg which had been rather marvelously reconstructed out of a great many pieces from a child I was familiar with this with this exhibit in the museum in Christchurch. And. Somehow it became. The image the central image of this sonnet. The skeleton of the mud on the crutches broods of a no great waste. A private sperm was where this tree grew feathers ones that had to see its dusty cloud and gobs of them from the dam. Interesting failure to adapt on items toa but not more for them than I
who come bone to his bone particularly in New Zealand. The eyes of children Flicka around this dome under the sky lights wondered at the huge egg found in a thousand pieces pieced together but with less patients than the bones that dug in time. Deep shelter against ocean weather. Not I. Some child. Born in a marvelous year. Will learn the trick of standing upright here. I mentioned. At the beginning. The discovery of. New Zealand by Abel Tasman a Dutch explorer who was sent out from Batavia in the Dutch East Indies in 16 42 in search of the fabulously rich or supposed fabulously rich
continent that lay in the South Sea. The 300 anniversary of that discovery was kept by the New Zealand Government in 1942 and that very fine I should say the great historian of navigators of Pacific exploration and editor of Cook's journals. Jacey Beaglehole. Asked me if I would. Write a poem for a book that was being brought out as part of this celebration. It was printed eventually in the book. The remaining contents consisted simply of a new translation of has mom's log from the Dutch. And an essay by the historian. John Beagle hope. For the poem. I tried. To. Grasp as well as I could. Something of the point of departure.
Try to imagine to myself. The discoverers and their point of departure. That is in the opening part and the motivations. Of an unusual voyage. Then in the second part. The second part of the attempts to describe to evoke a moment of discovery. And the third part of the play is a brief meditation on what the discovery my or may not mean for us. I called it landfall in unknown sea. Simply by sailing in a new direction. You could enlarge the world. You picked your captain keen on Discovery's tough enough to make them whatever vessels could be spared from other more urgent surveys for years adventure. Took stock of the more probable conjectures about the
unknown to be traversed or guesses of golden coasts and tales of monsters to be digested into plain instructions for likely an unlikely situation. All this is resolved and done you launched the herd on a fine morning. The best time of year. Sky is widening and the oceanic purity is subdued by some of the illumination. Time to go on to be gazed at going on a fine morning in the name of God into the nameless waters of the world. Oh you had a stalemate all the chances of business in those waters. The world's waters yet unexploited. But more than the sea empires can and the dogs of bronze and iron backing from Timor to the Straits backed up the challenge between you and the south. An old enmity lobbed in the searching mind that would not tolerate so huge a hit gammoning of
ignorance. That. Way or Indies had already sprinkled their tribes like Ocean Rain. You aimed your voyage. Like them invoked your god gave see these two history. And islands to new hazardous tomorrows. Suddenly exhilaration went off like a gun the whole horizon the long chase of two. There was the seascape crammed with Coast surprising as new lands will the sailor moving on the face of the waters watching the earth take shape around the other three summits brighter than you see emerging color. Yet this no fall fools errand was less than the heart desired in its only Indian dream the glittering gulfs ascending past palaces and mountains making one architecture.
Here. The uplifted structure peak and pillar of cloud or splendor of desolation rear toll from the pit of the square. With a shattered. A finger of wind for bad hopes of a lucky landing. Or words to islanders danger is what comes over the sea over the yellow sands and the clear shallow the filament flickers the blood of strangers. They discover the sailor. Oh in a flash in a flat calm a clash of bumps in the by and the DE mob with matter. The dead required no further warning to keep their distance. The rarest. Noting the failure pushed on with a reconnaissance to the north. And say of the way.
Well home is the sailor and that is a chapter in a school book. A relevant yesterday we thought we knew all about being mad Jap to properly sure of our ground known murderous mooning Golden Bay. But now there are no more islands to be found and the eye scans risky horizons of its unsettled weather and murmurs of the drowned home to their familiar beaches who navigates astore twat but not the improbable provinces who reaches a future down for us from the high share of spiritual daring. Not those speeches pinning on the past like a decoration for a medic that can congratulate itself. On not the self-important said abrasion. While most painstaking history can release the cotton of the discoverers elation and silence the voices saying.
Here is the world scene. Where wonders ceased. Only. By a more faithful memory. Laying on him the half light of a diffident Lawdy the sailor leaves and stands beside us playing out into out times waves the stain of blood the dry pass an island story. A rather later. But a sonnet which I called to him of an ancestor. There is an irony which wouldn't at once appear in that title. The ancestor. Was in fact. My maternal grandmother who lived out a somewhat saddened old
age. In what was for her an exile. In New Zealand. The oldest of us burst into tears and cried let me go home. But she stayed watching at her staircase window ship after ship bride like birds. Her grieving Sam sits. There sat stitching grandchildren's things. She died by the same sea. Hi over it. She led us in this deepening heat to the yellow grave. Her Clay was that way. Dismissed he was seen to have stopped and turned again and on here. The street tail like a blue river in the heat to the bay of the basking ships. This style of oblivion broad day. Heaped over so lightly she stretched like time behind us
graven in clouds. Fathers and sisters. A short poem. About a live. Any kind of a leaf as the poem says in its first line. Perhaps I'm. Being a bit I was being a bit too abstruse when I spoke of the leafy yellow among yellow leaves of the Prophet Micah. I was thinking actually of those strange. Half transparent skeletons of leaves which one sometimes finds
pressed in between the leaves of old bibles and old missiles. The puzzle presented by any kind of belief. One among millions to smudge your area sceneries are among millions. 1 your window to clack gust upon gust agitates a trifle sharp enough to murder sleep. Shaper believe shine of early shade of a leaf yellow among yellow leaves of the Prophet Micah with a strip of perished silk marks nothing still is a character a syllable made flesh before the word. But the believe. Blade of a leaf given a strange twist. Given for something to do with deadly baffled fingers. Happy to squeeze blood from a conundrum. Insoluble but endlessly amusing in the attempt.
And. Another of those. Exasperated. Exasperating with self and with country. Although. Not a particularly despondent one. I called it to forget self and all. To forget self and all forget foremost this whimpering second unlicked self my country. To go like nobody's fool an unguarded ghost buyer dawned midnight and the picture of known commanding and larger everywhere is entry unimaginable water Chinks granular dark of a stone. Why that would be freedom the hayday hate of freedom that would be the day. And as good a dream as any to be damned for. Then to patch it up with self and all and all those towers will sunny mild Sandy legged coast these painted and these rusted streets this heart so
supple and small blinding mountain deafening Riverdance smooth anxious sheets and go like a sow by the lava like nobody's goes. By that to be freedom. I hate I hate freedom. That would be the day. And as good a dream as any to be damned to. To sink both self and or why sink the whole phenomenal enterprise gathers shapes and sizes. Lol like Lucifer's boat from the cockpit roost of groundless paradise pealed gold gal whom the crack the thought blew down blew up made air where the seas gorge rises the burning brains nine feathering fathom doused and prints with bubbles. One grand row of notes. Why that'd be freedom. Hey day hey for freedom. That'd be the day. And as good a dream as any to be damned by.
A Perm which I call. The eye is more or less satisfied with seeing. Home Hadid. He can't move from where he is. No I love wholehearted that place in the Janus face half mocking half. Neither caring to laugh. Does true or false rise. To both. I tell lies. Cradle or grey which if you wish the actor. Of the two. Days for to forget sunrise. Sunset. Or close to fractions while half eyes half smile upon the light. The spider lead snares holds heed. And holds him hold
- Library of Congress lectures
- Producing Organization
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program, the second of three parts, features New Zealand poet Alan Kernow discussing poets of his country.
- Other Description
- A series of lectures given at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
- Media type
Producer: Library of Congress
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Kernow, Alan
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-Sp.2-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Library of Congress lectures; Alan Kernow on New Zealand poets, part two,” 1967-10-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 17, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-p843w934.
- MLA: “Library of Congress lectures; Alan Kernow on New Zealand poets, part two.” 1967-10-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 17, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-p843w934>.
- APA: Library of Congress lectures; Alan Kernow on New Zealand poets, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-p843w934