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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 12 (March 1, 1935)


Dear Readers, my knowledge of railways is confined to a contented and contemplative parking on my back collar-stud while throwing banana skins at retreating scenery through an open window.

I know trains go by jets of vapour,
That cause the piston rods to caper.
But otherwise I fear my knowledge.
Is less than what I learnt at college.
I know that trains go here and there,
Disseminating steam to spare,
And getting people where they're
And that's the limit of my knowing
Sufficient is a writer's job,
To net himself an honest bob,
By telling others (such is pelf!)
The things he doesn't know himself.

For the writer's job is to write, and the greater his ignorance of the subject under his subjection, the less is his style likely to be cramped by a slavish adherence to sordid Fact. Only by barefaced ignorance of everything pertaining to subject-matter can he attain that originality of outlook and freshness of style which has made ultramodern poetry so deliriously disruptive and insuperably insolable.