The Blue Voyage

Anne French



The tide is making; the breeze has turned

around the point, the lark sings

in the blue air. Nothing stays

the same. Everything is a variation

of the theme that goes on forever.


The Blue Voyage and Other Poems is a new collection by Anne French – elegiac in tone and confident in execution. A more comic initial section (by noted New Zealand regional poet ‘William Butler Smith’) leads into a section of thoughtful but vivid sailing poems and then a number of elegies, laments and funeral songs from French’s ‘black notebook’. The final section voyages to Korea and includes some loose translations of poems by modernist Korean writer Han Yong-un. In their considerations of remembrance and writerly acts, these ‘translations’ aptly pick up themes introduced in the book’s first three parts and round off the book nicely: ‘Waiting / for the ringing of the bells announcing daybreak, / I put down my brush.’ 



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Poet, publisher, and sailor Anne French is the author of six previous poetry collections with Auckland University Press, including All Cretans Are Liars, winner of the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry and the PEN Award for First Book of Poetry in 1988, and Boys’ Night Out, a finalist in the 1999 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. French had an extensive career in publishing with Oxford University Press before founding Te Papa Press in 1996.  Later she moved into science funding. She now works as a consultant on R&D strategy and management, and is an associate at NZIER.

November 2015, 210 x 148 mm, 68 pages
Paperback, ISBN 978 1 86940 842 8, $24.99