Migratory musings

Fleur Adcock’s Dragon Talk, her first poetry volume since 1997’s Looking Back which explored “part of the poet’s wider enquiry into geographical and cultural displacement” is reviewed by British poet Julian Stannard for the Guardian. “Born in New Zealand in 1934, Fleur and her sister came to England in 1939. Growing up in Britain during the war inculcated a sense of Englishness, and the family’s return to New Zealand in 1947 was resisted by the fledgling poet. Adcock’s unwillingness is shown in this collection in ‘Signature’, in which she drags her feet through the heavy snow of that mythological winter: ‘I was thirteen, and sensible only / intermittently’ and ‘I didn’t want to leave.’ She returned to London definitively in 1963. ‘My First Twenty Years’, which sits at the heart of Dragon Talk, rehearses the early journeys and transitions pre-literate years in New Zealand, the move to England on the eve of war (‘September 1939′), the post-war return to a New Zealand of cream sponges, where, notwithstanding the aunts’ best efforts to fatten her up, the teenager holds on, as a matter of principle, to English austerity (‘Unrationed’): ‘Cream, butter, cheese: / New Zealand’s dairy industry set to / and failed. Fat legs were not my destiny.'”


Tags: Dragon Talk  England  Fleur Adcock  Guardian (The)  Poetry  

Hairy Maclary a New Zealander with Scottish Roots

Hairy Maclary a New Zealander with Scottish Roots

Despite being one of Scotland’s most iconic children’s books, it has been revealed to the Scots that Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy is actually from New Zealand, Lisa Hodge reports for…