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a book of new zealand verse 1923 45 by allen curnow

A Book of New Zealand Verse 1923-45 by Allen Curnow


Christchurch, New Zeland : The Caxton Press, 1945. First Edition. Hardcover. 195 pages ; 23 cm. $12 shilling dust jacket with a few minor tears along the edges. Gift inscription on the front free endpaper and nowhere else. Pages are age toned. Binding is firm.

NEW ZEALAND READERS HAVE come to expect more of their own poets. They have learned, too, to expect fewer poets. The fifty, seventy, or more writers represented in earlier anthologies are succeeded by the sixteen of the present volume. Mr. Curnow explains his choices and the planning of the book in an introductory essay which is in itself the most considerable attempt yet made to describe and criticise New Zealand verse, and to read it in terms of the country's history, people, and scene.

Though older poets appear, the selection really dates from 1923, when R. A. K. Mason published his first poems in Auckland. In some sense Mr Curnow may be said to have taken up the work of editing where it was left by the treasury of New Zealand Verse in 1926; though the verse of the last twenty years, and the revision of critical estimates, have made possible a book very different in character.

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