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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 10 May 28 1968

[A review of Patterns On Glass by Nevil Gibson]

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Because of various cultural and economic factors, New Zealand has a peculiar sub-culture of "suburban" literature. The main result is poetry: for little cost a book of poetry can be published and have a guaranteed market, get reviewed everywhere in polite if perhaps dismissive terms, and go unnoticed by most people. Little books of poems are expensive in page for price ratio (in this particular one over 3c per page of poetry) and hence are aimed at the gift buyer. One wonders if they are ever read.

The term "suburban" literature must be qualified. It does not refer so much to the content (which is of course a valid subject for examination), as to its mediocrity and amateurishness. The vision of housewives scribbling while the kids are at school is peculiarly New Zealand. Larger countries' publishing businesses would go bankrupt if they published and encouraged such activity, except in some cases. While Mrs. Dunstan's poetry may be appreciated by some. I find most of it incredulous. None of it stands up to "out loud" reading. It lacks tension, wit and content. Flabby images and limp rhythm are the only striking features. If you want some real stuff not found in English Literature, try Adrian Mitchell's new volume, Out Loud (Cape Golliard Press, $2.25).

Patterns On Glass. Poems by Peggy Dunstan. Pegasus Press, Christchurch. $1.75 62 pp. Reviewed by Nevil Gibson.