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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1945

Spike Poetry 1945

page 38

Spike Poetry 1945

What has happened to poetry at Victoria? Where is the adolescent moaning and the posturing against the system? This is the first time I have had difficulty in finding— a bad poem. Whether it is the war or returned men, or record enrolment, or a New Zealand renaissance on the way I know not. But there are real poets among us. W. Easterbrooke Smith, Erik de Mauny and Pat Wilson will stand up to printing in any journal in the country. W. H. Oliver and Catherine Crosse are not quite up to them in technical competence, though when the latter accepts the guidance of Baudelaire she writes with feeling and skill. The choice of a prize winner is not easy. I like de Mauny's evocative precision; I like Easterbrook Smith's astringent metaphysical lines; but I think since I must choose, I'll have the award go to the more imaginative presentation of Pat Wilson.

But if you keep like this we'll have to make a volume of you all. You're too good for typescript.

To be forever remembering Volition draining
The past obloquies of afflicted silence Silence chilling
To regret eternally The warm enunciation of deep thought killing.
The passionate parade of speechless minutes I have traced the subtle synthesis
To fall recurrently Reached for consumation, raised you
Into a poverty of words To a drum-beat of passion, sought
In this frustration is death. The eternal formula, found
You are the desired attainment Empty phrases of futility, died
The goal of the aspiring mind; In the shattering segregation.
Rock-water to the eye Would my words
Of the desert traveller delectable, Could crush your mind like hammers
Green corn to the sight Caress you
Of the famine-stricken unbelievable, Like falling fingers of dying leaf
Spring flower to the mind Clothe you
Of the winter-ridden unimaginable. With the torrid glintings of a noonday sun
Hand in hand Propel you
On hillslopes dreaming Into my mind like a mist-clad mountain.
Mind enflamed Thus am I wandering
In false hope drowning Drifting like soft rain in shadows
Sadness gripping Seeking forever the river of words
Coiled thought groping The dawning of my pentecostal day.

W. H. Oliver.