About the poet
Allen Curnow (1911-2001) is a central figure in the emergence of an authentic New Zealand...
The moon rolls over the roof and falls behind
my house, and the moon does neither of these things,
I am talking about myself.
It's not possible to get off to sleep or
the subject or the planet, nor to think thoughts.
Better barefoot it out the front
door and lean from the porch across the privets
and the palms into the washed-out creation,
a dark place with two particular
bright clouds dusted (query) by the moon, one's mine
the other's an adversary, which may depend
on the wind, or something.
A long moment stretches, the next one is not
on time. Not unaccountably the chill of
the planking underfoot rises
in the throat, for its part the night sky empties
the whole of its contents down. Turn on a bare
heel, close the door behind
on the author, cringing demiurge, who picks up
his litter and his tools and paces me back
to bed, stealthily in step.
from Early Days Yet: New and Collected Poems 1941-1997 (Carcanet, 1997), copyright © Allen Curnow 1997, used by permission of Tim Curnow.
Allen Curnow Reading from his poems