Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long ago and Fleur away

Came across that early poem 'Ngauranga Gorge Hill' by
Fleur Adcock the other day, the one in which she recalls
the gorge road in the days before the motorway was
built, and what a 'glorious and terrible' thing it was
to freewheel down it on your bike. Imagine doing that
today! No, don't.

Heart in my pedals, down I would roar
towards the sea; I’d go straight into it
if I didn’t brake.


That sent me back to Big Weather, the anthology of
Wellington poems published in 2000 by Mallinson
Rendel and still selling well, I read recently. To my
surprise, 'Ngauranga Gorge Hill' is not in it. I guess
it's not all that good a poem; it may also have
disqualified itself from what is essentially a celebratory
anthology by concluding, of Wellington, 'I think it was
a barren place.' Dunno. But the image of young Fleur
hurtling headlong down the old gorge road lingers.

1 comment:

David Cohen said...

You know that if the Taleban ran this country, one could well be shot for a pun-headline like that.

I may not agree with all the Taleban's policies, but...