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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 7. June 25, 1951

The Two Most Important . .

The Two Most Important . . .

This digression implies that much of the best N.Z. poetry so far, which despite complexity of form has not in its awareness of Nature neglected the human and dramatic elements, will have the semblance of a "tour do force." This implies particularly to the work of two of our most important poets, A. R. D. Fairburn and Denis Glover. Fairburn has undoubtedly a great lyrical gift and a rich and flowing style, but he is sometimes in danger of shallowness, as of trying to make a striking effect from a conventional theme. Nevertheless at such times as sincerity is combined with irony or vivacious satire, he "pulls off" a compelling poem. Glover, on the other hand, scarcely plays with words, but always searches the "mot Juste" while using them sparingly, to express deeper truths in virile verse tinged with bitter sarcasm which, clever as it is, tends to give the impression of the harsh "cracks" of a "wiseguy." But the very toughness of his poetry emphasises its magnificent insight.

Finally, to show that, as Allen Curnow says, "we start now from a better vantage," I shall try to make apparent that at least five of the new poems, though there is a world of difference between their individual styles have somehow inherent in them that vitality either in personal or in natural symbolism which is a fundamental of great poetry.