Appendix to Allen Curnow: Collected Poems

Edited by Elizabeth Caffin and Terry Sturm





This online Appendix collects the first versions of three early collections, Valley of Decision, Enemies and Not in Narrow Seas; the last of these originally appeared in the journal Tomorrow in 1937‒38. Other uncollected poems from the journals Kiwi, Phoenix, Canterbury College Review, Tomorrow, Book, New Zealand New Writing and later Cornish Review also appear. In the years 1934‒1938 individual poems, especially in Tomorrow, were sometimes signed with the penname Julian. The poems reproduced from that period are thus identified as being either by ‘Julian’ or by ‘Allen Curnow’. The full text of a long verse letter to fellow poet, publisher and dear friend Denis Glover, absent in wartime, is of interest as only part of it, called ‘Spring in Wartime’, appeared in Sailing or Drowning. There are also two celebrated satirical broadsheets, of 1957 and 1958, attacking the Auckland City Council in a row about the relocation of the University. The final poem in the online Appendix is part of a commissioned chapter on Curnow’s schooldays at Christchurch Boys’ High School.



Elizabeth Caffin was Allen Curnow’s publisher and director of Auckland University Press for two decades.

Terry Sturm CBE was a professor of literature at the University of Auckland for many years, editor of The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English (1990, 1998), author of An Unsettled Spirit: The Life and Frontier Fiction of Edith Lyttleton (AUP, 2003), and editor of a selection of Curnow’s verse written under his pseudonym Whim Wham, Whim Wham's New Zealand: The Best of Whim Wham 1937-1988 (Random House, 2005).



Appendix to Allen Curnow Collected Poems
Appendix to Allen Curnow Collected Poems (238.8 kB, PDF)