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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 3. April 13, 1946

War Poems and Lyrics—Alun Falconer

War Poems and Lyrics—Alun Falconer

Very little good anti-fascist verse has been published in New Zealand, a reflection no doubt of our isolation. What there has been has very often been of rather poor technical quality. It is therefore pleasing to come upon such a volume as this in which the writer says something worthwhile and in an efficient way. In general this is an excellent collection, although there are in places some very bad patches—complete triteness of expression, bathos, too willing an acceptance of a traditional rhyme. It is interesting to note that the lyrics are on the whole considerably better technically and as contained expressions of emotion than the war poems, which possibly suggests that Mr. Falconer experiences the same difficulties in writing of the war as can be seen in other volumes of war verse. War experiences are more Intense and conflicting than others, and consequently more difficult to express in a finished way, particularly if the writer's aim is to bring that experience effectively home to the reader. If such is the intention, the poem which requires the same intellectual effort as a mathematical problem is clearly of little use. Mr. Falconer has realised this and his command of language and clarity of expression are to be commended. (Modern Books, 2/6.)