Continuum

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{Continuum * Allen Curnow}

In the poem Continuum by Allen Curnow, he tells us about his lack of inspiration or his lack to “create”. The theme of the poem revolves around poetic inspiration, and how he is unable to get that inspiration. He uses a variety of literary devices to portray this. The title, “Continuum”, shows us that the problem he talks about, his lack of inspiration is never ending and is continuing all the time. The first stanza shows us Curnow’s unstable thoughts; “the roof falls behind”, as he is unable to compose poetry he is in a sense of rolling and falling all over the place. In the first line, the word “moon” is used as a metaphor, as a symbol for himself. As the moon is unable to shine on its own, as it depends on the sun, just like that Curnow depends on his writing to keep him going in life. The first stanza also tells you about the setting and time of the poem which is at night. The poem has no rhyme scheme, this tells us that the poet is finding it difficult to express his thoughts, and he cannot tap into the world of imagination. The last line of the first stanza; “I am talking about myself.” Also shows his frustration.

In the next stanza, Curnow is seeking connection with nature to find poetic inspiration. The line, “It’s not possible to get off to sleep”, tells us that the poet is unable to sleep which shows that something is troubling him. Curnow goes out “barefoot”, to rid himself of the human material and wants to connect with nature.

He stands in the porch looking at the moon and the clouds, not really conscious of either the time or the chill that he starts to feel. Curnow eventually goes back to bed having written this poem. He writes about himself as another person or thing - He says he is the moon; in the last stanza he writes as if he is describing what he did to the “the author”. Curnow walks “stealthily in step” as if half of him is afraid of what is happening to him.

Thalia Salonga 11SC, IGCSE Literature...
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