Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Elegy In The Clutha Valley

This beautiful, poignant and deeply affecting poem in memory of Denis Glover was written by Brian Turner, one of my favourite New Zealand poets.

[ Denis Glover's contribution to New Zealand Poetry is immense. The mere fact that he started 'The Caxton Press' in Christchurch helped New Zealand  Poetry at a seminal time. His own poetry is important, especially to old Cantabrians such as myself. His poetry about sailing around Banks Peninsular prompts wonderful memories of my own times of sailing this area with my dad and his shipmates. Glovers "Enter Without Knocking - Selected Poems 1936 - 71" that I have recently read shows the poetical development of one of New Zealand's most colourful characters and inspired poets. ]

(In Memory of Denis Glover)

Something we will never know
the reason for
or the answer to
woke me one November morning
and streamed through the half - open window
and made me feel it was timeless,
and I remembered a day
that will always be long ago
when I was older
and better able
to stride off over the rolling downs
in search of all the best reasons
in the beleaguered world
to do or not to do,
and to be in touch with oneself
wherever heart and mind
had come to agree
on where we should be going,
and let us think this
could be so. Then, the world's ill
flew from the shoulder
of the highest hill
around, and thereafter the will
took a bolder part in things
and my heart lept
to the blind mountain
from which scree flaked
and water bled all day long
to the downy valley floor
where, in the evening
I took my rod and my heart
to the river's side
and cast and cast
while water
ran red and gold
in the quickening dusk,
and the sedges
fleeing the river
were like ash
at my face and throat
and all the world
seemed to be timeless

No comments: