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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 8. June 13, 1957

Love and Satire

Love and Satire

A renewed outburst of good satirical poetry on a scale unseen in New Zealand since the "socially conscious" days of the Slump, is one of the most [unclear: notabhturcs] of the 6th New Zealand [unclear: Poetry] car book (1956-57) which came off the press (Pegasus) a few months ago, edited like its predecessor) by Louis Johnson.

James K. Baxter's two contributions starring Harry Fat (his own wonderful name for the epitome of our petty politics) are gems. There is a tetc-a-tete with Holyoake on relations with Asia:

Said Harry Fat to Holyoake,
'To falter would be sin,
But oh I had a fearful dream
When the small hours begin;
I dreamt I was a mouse inside
A mangey lion's skin.'
"'We are the truth said Holyoake
'The truth will always win.

And a tete-a-tete with Uncle Sam on tourism.:

"No whorehouse on the corner
Was a grief to our Marines.
"'Try Mazenagrb, wrote Harry Fat
'For some talent in the teens'."

Another beauty is Anton Vogt's "Songs for a Bolshie-Yank Duo":

"Our favourite sport is a heresy hunt.
a heresy hunt, a heresy hunt,
Our favourite sport is a heresy hunt,
at 5 o'clock in the morning.
We'll peer through the keyhole and under the bed;
Bolsh: I'll find me a bourgeois . . .
Yank: I'll find me a red . . .
And when we have got one he'll wish he was dead at 2 o'clock in the morning.

On more tender themes, the volume can also boast a rich harvest. Baxter, again, hits highspots with "Heard in a Chimney". Peter Dronke's translations from Wolfskehl (the German poet who lived out his life of exile in Auckland) either get across the soul of their Creator, or infuse a soul of their own. Bertram gets beautifully intimate about horses he has known.

Among the youngsters. K. M. Jowsey promises well, and so (still) does Jocelyn Henrici. Earle Spencer ("Your tongue in my mouth/Like an apricot") I find a little embarrassing.

Curnow, Johnson, and Brasch are still vigorous—but Glover's themes indicate an unhappy acceptance of middle [unclear: age] The whole book is a good buy at [unclear: 6].—M.