Continuum by Allen Curnow
Thomas Allen Munro Curnow was a New Zealand poet and journalist. A prominent satirist, the satirist in Curnow is certainly not pushed aside in his poetic works, but is explored instead with a greater degree of emotional connectivity and self reflection. His works concerning the New Zealand Landscape and the sense of isolation experienced by one who lives in an island colony are perhaps his most moving and most deeply pertinent works regarding the New Zealand condition. His poetry specially concerns landscape/isolation.The poem “Continuum” is a poem on the continuity of poetic inspiration. The poetic source of stimulation of great poets since ages has been the landscape. The moon has been a persistent metaphor for poetic inspiration in celebrated poems like Samuel Coleridge’s “Dejection: An Ode. The poet’s quality of being a satirist is prominent here. He first asserts that the moon rolls over the roof, and falls back. This is to imply that his poetic capabilities are sinking. Subsequently, he goes on to substantiate that the moon does neither of these things, he is talking about himself. When poets do generally stumble in poetic output or due to lack of inspiration, they tend to blame the external circumstances .However, Here Allen Curnow asserts that the poet himself is to be blamed; for, Poetic inspiration comes from within and not from outside. Being sleepless is not an excuse for writing a poem. Sleeplessness does not necessarily allow one to ruminate over a subject, or planet or subjective thoughts. The condition of insomnia can also be dodged conveniently by walking barefoot on the front. The speaker is then visualized as an onlooker of nature. As he stands at the porch he beholds an objective view of himself, as he discerns “across the privets/and the palms a ”washed out creation”. This portion is a dark space. The poet moves to his satiric tone yet again. This dark space contains two particular clouds, one was supposed to be a...
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