Title: When God Died

Author: Michael Hulse

In: Sport 8: Autumn 1992

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, March 1992, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 8: Autumn 1992


The second sestet is conceived in the spirit of a Bonnard or Matisse: a Mediterranean brightness and colour and light, a love of thing for being things. For five lines it is an act of naming: affectionately anti-hierarchical in its juxtapositions, and at least implicitly anthropo/gynocentric. Envisaging Dinah Hawken's landscape and palette, I don't care too much about the missing main verb. Still, when (the godlike author) she does provide one, she releases the world into motion, into autonomous existence; she frees it of the stasis of human cognition.

The main verb is aptly the umbilical to be. And it's apt too that after refusing to assign the colour to her landscape Hawken identifies the verb as green. It is a poem 'about' (among other things) the relation of words to the things of the world; and that 'green' puts me in mind not only of Chomsky's famous paradigm but also and particularly of a stanza from Marvell's 'The Garden':