Opening the Archive:
Duggan and Robin Hyde may between them lay the foundation of a New Zealand
literature. — Jessie Mackay
Gillian Boddy in 1991 quotes Pat Lawlor in 1935 quoting Jessie Mackay several
years previously on the subject of her younger contemporaries Eileen Duggan
and Robin Hyde, the voice on the wind seems impossibly distant. To ground
Mackay's statement and its original context is one search among many that
might alter the sense we presently have of all three writers as peripheral to
the founding of a canon of New Zealand poetry. Jessie Mackay — poet,
journalist and critic herself — also announced in 1930 that Eileen Duggan
had written poems 'to lay up in heart's lavender for ever'.
Somewhere between the desire for foundation (public, communal, conditional)
and the individual, partisan act of preservation lies the story of what
happened to women poets and their work as literary codes were altered just
before mid-century by a cultural nationalism inimical to previous competences.
don't forget the girl is a genius — Pat Lawlor
are the words that broke the heart with beauty?
women made deliberate choices about what they wrote and who it was aimed at.
Their poems became well-known to readers also interested in the emergence
(their patronage assisted it) of local literature and in its links with
British tradition. The same readers could admire Hardy, Housman, Yeats or de
la Mare, and find similar emotional engagement and stylistic clarity in the
work of Duggan, Hyde and the others. They were not populists though they
shared publishing venues (mostly newspapers) with popular verse, for which
there was a flourishing audience. In December 1935 Whitcombes had in stock 750
copies of The Perfume Vendor by seventeen-year-old Gloria Rawlinson.
Hyde liked the poems and had written an introduction to her friend's book, but
she was dismayed to find that only a dozen copies of The Conquerors had
been ordered by the same bookshop. However, Duggan's readership in the 1930s was large — second editions of her Poems (1937) were printed in England and America — and Hyde's
audience was certainly bigger than the 1935 anecdote implies. Both poets were capable of the kinds of simplicity that earned them casual
readers as well as those who took their work more thoughtfully.
such distinctions are at best arbitrary in the face of the powerful effect
their poetry had on individuals in its contemporary audience. I am fascinated
by the trace of a recurrent story which has it that the poems of Duggan and
Hyde were carried to the 1939-45 war by the fathers, uncles, brothers or
friends of those who also remember that such poems were often recited from
memory and/or that the book is still about at home somewhere. Physical,
literal distances the poems travelled, the memory of how and why they
travelled signals a most interesting kind of endurance: passionate and
too, read the moderns. They are clever — particularly Auden, whose work
comes near genius: but great art is democratic. They don't catch the breath.
The difference between cleverness and magic. — Eileen Duggan
makes the sweethearts quarrel?
filial security is not the same thing as a home in this world. 'The Beaches'
is the first part of 'Houses by the Sea', which is more than a long poem about
homing or desire for the lost world of a Wellington childhood. Folded into it,
by enigma and double coding, are the narratives of emergent female sexuality,
something coming the other way, determining contemporary possibility against a
dream of history. Daughter and answering sea in 'The Beaches' trade riddling
the feminine boat to the female body it stands in for, and the code is
apparent. Boat is body, the curve of it, the tamelessness of it, the smell of
it. But then, amazement — that line effortlessly doing two things at once:
'What makes the sweethearts quarrel? / Third mouth, pink as coral'. The
interloper who separates sweethearts is third point of a triangle. But the
third mouth, 'pink as coral', the one that causes trouble, is also
unmistakably sexual. And there it is, a vulval image in a poem written in
1937, masked for propriety in a culture that refused all talk of the body.
These and other lines wait for readers delighted by their secrecy:
Hot cream flood, peaks and shouts, coral pink mouth. Hyde hides what androcratic society will not countenance: sexuality celebrated and inscribed by a woman. Her predecessors in the attempt are Mander, Mansfield and Devanny; all prose-writers. Who does it for poetry before Hyde with her multiple strategies of concealment? Hyde is about hiding, about surviving by hiding, and she stamps the exigency as a personal signature in every part of her work. It starts with the deliberate androgyny of the assumed name but it travels also through endless references in her poems to rainbows, prisms, bridges and arcs. The rainbow is the sign of Iris, she who connects heaven and earth; Iris Wilkinson elaborated the clue of her given name, producing an exquisite tension between presence and concealment of herself in her work. There are iris flowers throughout her writing, and extensive play with the optics of eye and I. Her own eyes, Gloria Rawlinson tells us, were blue; I for one am glad of the detail.
have circled the globe, Da Gama. Aye, with thrust bolder
losing my old fear that other people can do these things better than myself,
as I see more and more of their self-satisfied inertia — I know I'm an
uneven unfinished and emotional sort of writer, but they —
was fighting a number of interconnected battles, most of them deriving from a
generalised historical antipathy to women, behind which lay determinable fears
of female sexuality. Antipodean puritanism and its efficient polarisation of
gender had produced local variations on an ancient figure of the woman in
chains. Hyde's titles — The Desolate Star, The Conquerors, Persephone
in Winter — signal her awareness of continuing struggle against
oppression; the poems spell out details: 'I am The Silenced. From my ageless
dumb / Affronted calm, the last commands shall come'.
Archetype for Hyde is folded with political protest; specifically female
oppression is lodged within the rhetoric of Romanticism, so that to speak for
women is to speak to other prisoners in the compound. When Hyde's dialogue
poem 'Husband and Wife' was published in A Caxton Miscellany (1937) the
imprint and the company it kept — Glover, Fairburn, Curnow and others —
foregrounded contemporary particulars of an old battle:
a wife, has seen five green leaves ('Abel's fingers stretched from earth') put
out by an oak polled for power lines, and has come back to the house where the
two of them fight ('I ought to put the axe against her roots') and love ('When
I let down my hair, it covers us: / Covers our faces and the dark outside').
She unpicks his rage, demotes the divine pronoun to a lower case not
unreflective of their own: 'I think he meant at last . . . To make us bitter,
tear our hearts to shreds, / Drive all the stubborn stuff to open ground / And
let us fight'. She then picks out redemption, its price and her part in its
She is for the canticle he fears and hates, takes the sign of his hatred and covers them with the metamorphosis he fears yet knows he (or He) must effect:
understood what was happening. As fast as a generation of young men wrote
spiritual poverty into the colonial condition, she read there a dangerous
transference of guilt by association onto the female body. Leaving the country
in 1938, she could do the regulation nationalist/contemplative poem
(narrow-eyed, hard-edged, bloodstained) almost to the point of parody:
fits the story of a new land as an alien, hostile presence, female and other,
to be 'broken' in; the disquieting image of rape lingers in the dripping of
blood between fingers. But Hyde's view of the relationship between settler and
land can be quite different. She belongs to a tradition of poets part of whose
stock in trade is hope of cultural continuity — even (especially?) as they
measure their own distances over time and space from its sources. Hyde,
Duggan, Mackay, Baughan and Bethell all conserve and transmit a humanistic
warmth ('old shoes of custom and courage') determined by their practical
commitments to social justice. It is this blend of the pragmatic and the
idealistic that makes them seem curiously engaged (if not at home) here
decades before the carefully anatomised alienation of the male poets wears off
and allows them a measure of grace.
These women are not the strident battleaxes or witless lady singers of popular
parody. They do not ignore the problems of the ground or the paradoxes of
homing, but their optimism and their perseverance can be a welcome respite
from the gloomy young flagellants who made a point of confusing their idealism
with prattle and sentimentality.
A poem like Hyde's 'The Pioneers', where a delayed revelation of gender as
well as of the thanksgiving form are key factors, hardly counts as positivist
naïvety, given its place in the range of her construction of femininity. And
yet that homage to female forebears and its basis in handed-down stories is
lost (along with Baughan's narrative poem 'Early Days'; or 'The Paddock', her
verse drama for three female voices) in a rumble of well-anthologised poems by
men about the terror of a land of inaudible stories and unspeakable
women acknowledged terror but did not abandon the possibility of colloquy; and
some of them literally walked out into that landscape, talking, reporting on
experience. Baughan walked, climbed and wrote books 1909-1929 about travelling
in the southern lakes and mountains, up the Whanganui river, through the
Historian Elsie Locke (born 1912) tells of walking the Waitakeres and the Port
Waikato-Raglan coast in the early 1930s with women student friends. On the
coast walk they were welcomed by local Maori and mistaken for female swaggies.
Later in Wellington (she hitch-hiked there in the summer of 1933-34, after
finishing her degree) Locke was editor of the communist Working Woman and
its successor Woman To-day; she knew Hyde through her contributions to
Hyde herself embraced the paradigm of the vagabonding woman long before she
boarded the S.S. Changte in 1938.
is revealing, therefore, to see 'Journey from New Zealand' swing abruptly from
rural depression (the broken land) to look at the cities. The difficulties
which emerge are those of socialisation, stretched out against generic
memories of community:
writes many poems engaged with the business of community. They speak to
excess, there are too many of them, too many attempts to arrive at a community
of words. By contrast, Modernist poetics were about schism, separation and
fragmentation, with vocabularies of hardness and sharpness unmediated by
softness except as something to be repressed or sacrificed. Knives on throats,
axes on trees, breaking and clearing--the prescribed dramas here were of
transgression and punishment, the legacy of Modernism's union with the
unresolved puritan factor. The result for women's voices was a poetry from
hell, in which you were either a handmaiden (acquiescent, diminished) or a
sacrifice (obdurate, dead). Hyde's early recognition of mortal peril for women
and women who were writers, and her attempts to draw attention to the ways in
which women were being excluded from the new map of literary representation
being drawn up in the second half of the 1930s, are the public, articulate
face of what women writers said in the margins or not at all for a long time
After 1939 the fight was lost along with Hyde's life and the intervention of
the second war. What remains to us are the poems and their codings, plus the
orientations of Hyde's essay journalism, letters and autobiographical prose. A
selection of that journalism is currently in print; the poems, letters and
autobiographical material are out of print or still in manuscript. Why are we
so slow to read the poet who most disrupts the orthodoxy set up by the
contents and introduction of A Book of New Zealand Verse 1923-1945?
haven’t the remotest intention of anthologising — thankless task with many
evils attached, and before we’re ripe for it, though I suppose Caxton will
prematurely bring out some one-eyed, one-idea'd thing and wreck the show. —
Robin Hyde to Denis Glover
wrote to Glover two days before leaving New Zealand — ten pages by turns
taunting and elaborately good-humoured. She had already dealt with Glover’s
lampooning of women poets by writing a detailed compendium for the Mirror called ‘New Zealand Auhoresses’ (see footnote 29). There, as in the letter,
her sense of enemy terrain is quite accurate, and she is at pains to distance
herself from Glover’s Caxton which did indeed gather to itself the anthology
project she foresaw in 1938.
more I read Hyde's poetry, the more I am struck by its allegiance to values
other than those of clenched jaw and gritted teeth, and this despite her often
desperate personal circumstances. It has been customary to read the poems
written between October 1936 and August 1939 as 'mature' work, evidence that
Hyde turned to New Zealand subjects with the realisation that here was her
true theme and a reason to reject the mythological elements and romantic
historicism of earlier poems. To privilege later work because of a break with
earlier style and subjects does disservice to the perspective supplied by
Hyde's fascination with poetic tradition. It also neglects the importance of
archetype in her exorcisms of some persistent private ghosts. Glover
unwittingly fingers just such territory in The Conquerors when he
identifies 'Outcast', 'The Forsaken', 'The Fugitive', 'The Traitor', 'Home',
and ‘Escape' as well-worn ‘poetical’ subjects.
For Hyde, the old world is built in as iconographic inheritance, its violent,
beautiful paradoxes intact to the last, its languages especially resonant in
the post-colonial psyche because so much of the conversation is about the
complications of endurance. Hyde learned how to write here because of what she
wrote about there, thinking through connections, transports, overlays, and
slippage; finding ways to light up the distance between one tradition and
herself, incipiently another. The conundrums of freedom and captivity haunt
world exotica? Or do the Wellington hills abruptly push their way through the
language surfaces? 'Upthrust like goddess-breasts' is an image with links to a
deep past where a Lady of Beasts lays claim to the prowling human mind. The
juxtaposition of goddess-breasts and local hills is strange only until vison
doubles and we see what is before us — the geomorphic body of Papatuaanuku.
Hyde revels in these old-new, here-there, visible-invisible connections. And
if shape-shifting fails?
will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help,' with
touches of local colour; many poets have transposed the 121st psalm. But she
another metamorphic line, splitting consciousness apart in the doubling —
'The hills have given me quiet breasts, / Young streams for ease in time of
drouth'. A place to rest, and streams to drink from. But the literal meaning
twists, the result of grammatically ambiguous giving, and the line reroutes
itself into textual hyperspace. If hills can be 'upthrust like
goddess-breasts' and now give the speaker of this poem 'quiet breasts' and
'young streams', there is no avoiding the physical sign of nurture. They are
equipping her to sustain life, they are giving her quiet breasts for 'days of
no event but steady growth', as another poem puts it.
It is a wish or a gift, this reminder of gynocentric affinities with the place
you live in. It is almost (always the difficulties) a home, and always a body.
'I've come back to you, hills — / All your wet gorse gleams around me', she
wrote, and signed a living body across schemas of history: 'One can be weary,
hills, / And yet seem so defiant . . . Just for a moment, hills, / Hold me . .
. hold me':
think you and I, though so utterly different in route and all manner of chosen
means work out to somewhat the same equation in the end — but I am clay and
you are china. (I don't mean 'fragile porcelain', I mean good honourable
china, and for that matter clay not so bad either, though very streaky.) But
often you say the thing I wish I had said . . .
I am taking your 'New Zealand Bird Songs' in my pack; you know which
one I am, or have anyhow grabbed off —
is part of another farewell made two days before Hyde’s departure (‘But my
letters get so silly I must swear to keep this short’); two pages rather
than ten. The poem she quotes is 'The Shag'; the gesture and the letter itself
are partly filial, partly an assertion of independence. Writer and recipient
alike knew what had been left hanging in the air between them, for the bandit
shag continues: ‘”But God, where all is gentle, / May weary of much
meekness, / May turn unto the outlaw, / May bless the Shag, the sinner”’.
had published Poems, her third collection, in 1937, which was also the
year Hyde brought out Persephone in Winter, her third
collection. Both books were published in London and despatched here for
appraisal and review. Hyde's leavetaking letter reports a first glimpse of Poems
in Whitcombes: 'Then someone came to tell me my bill was so much, and I
had to put it down, but will see it again in London, and read it slowly'. So
it was New Zealand Bird Songs, the book Jessie Mackay also admired,
that Hyde took with her in January 1938 when she packed the typescripts of
'Houses by the Sea', to go on refining them in the great distances implied by
the poem. Bird Songs, the address of writing mother to departing child,
spoke to that occasion of bonding and release:
sweet eyes, you went into a distant country
Bird Songs wait out the journey Hyde made later in the year to the
battlefront at Hsuchowfu, locked away for safety in Canton or Hankow along
with her precious typescripts? And did Duggan's book travel back with the
final typescripts of 'Houses by the Sea' after Hyde's death in England on 23
August 1939, completing the figure of companionship and double journeys? I
want to think of Duggan's poems perhaps escorting the bandit heart home across
a world blacking itself out for war.
the suitcases arrived in Wellington at 92 Northland Road, Nelly Wilkinson sent
them to Hyde’s solicitor and literary executor, W.R. (Bill) Edge, in
Auckland. He and Gloria Rawlinson began the long business of sorting the mass
are but stumblers in the hinterlands,
'Forerunners'/'Heralds' is a poem of the 1920s doing service in the 1930s to the acknowledged difficulties of making art live in a settler culture. Another poem, 'New Zealand Art,' first published in New York in the late 1920s, explores the same problem, looping through a quest metaphor balanced on an unsettling relationship between plural subject and singular comparison
meticulous whisper pattern addresses a sacrament — wheat, elusive holy
bread, an uncrowned/unharvested head — which is glossed in other Duggan
poems. One of them is practically a co-text: 'Do you think that wheat is like
water, / Closing again where you tread? / It is life you are trampling under /
Bread and the power of bread'.
That implication is literalised in the second half of 'New Zealand Art' as an
exact mirror (look at the placement of the simile) of the sacrament of the
wheat, its other, feminine component:
(baptism, anointing) discloses the ceremony of that unswaddling under the
blaze of a (rose?) window. The co-textual poem behaves as catechism: 'Bread is
to-day and to-morrow, / And all the yesterdays wild; / As old as the first
clay oven, / As young as a newborn child'). A woman longing for 'a mouth to
hurt her breast' sends the story of want back to its bodily erotic, food and
vision is Mariolatric, the method close-textured and typically allusive. A
third poem enters the conversation, familiar iconography fabling the woman
beyond the official announcement, alternate rhyming stanzas formally
assembling the figure by which one kind of growing can be mapped onto another:
That is not to say there are not poems by Miss Duggan which I wished to
include in this book; and they would have been included if she had not refused
permission to reprint. — Allen Curnow
surviving 1943 correspondence between Duggan and Curnow over her
representation in the 1945 Caxton anthology does not
get as far as discussing which poems Curnow wanted to print. Duggan’s
biographer Grace Burgess indicates that Duggan was quick to turn down the
initial requests because she was unsympathetic to the project and to its
John Weir records evidence that Curnow was refused permissions again in 1948
when the 1951 enlargement of the Caxton book was being planned.
More serious negotiations over quantity and selection occurred 1956-1960 as
Curnow prepared The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse. Duggan and
Curnow/Penguin Books (London) reached the point of a legally negotiated demand
that she see proofs of the Penguin Introduction after withdrawing her poems
from the book. Page proofs were supplied in June 1960, and Duggan was (with
reservations) prepared to accept the Introduction as it subsequently appeared,
and to drop further action against the book's publication.
The four-year duel and its forty-odd pieces of associated correspondence
culminated in two lines at the close of Curnow's Introduction in which
Duggan's name otherwise appears, each time as part of a list, just twice.
wished to include some poems by Miss Eileen Duggan, but found, to my regret,
that this could not be arranged. — Allen Curnow
June 1958, when Duggan first learned of her reduced selection, Alistair
Campbell, James K. Baxter and Louis Johnson had managed get hold of a set of
galley proofs, and were all three threatening to withdraw their selections
from the Penguin.
They stayed in, but Duggan fought Curnow to a standstill over issues of
representation that for a moment in the late 1950s united older and younger
generations in an interesting if uncoordinated pincer movement against what
each perceived as an unwelcome prescriptiveness in the Caxton–Penguin line.
Between them they delayed the Penguin's appearance two years.
More Poems ang="EN-GB" style="mso-tab-count: 1; mso-spacerun: yes; mso-special-character: footnote">Duggan
issued in 1951. The unassuming title can be read at this
remove as a jibe — Poems (1921), Poems (1937), and More
Poems (1951) — aimed at those who wished its author would in her
exclusion from the new establishment roll over and play dead. More Poems was
in fact her last book but Duggan was only beginning her campaign of loud
silence. A year later came Hyde's posthumous collection Houses by the Sea from
Caxton, who had also published Mary Ursula Bethell's posthumous Collected
Poems in 1950. In 1953 came the single and singular volume by Mary Stanley
(1919-1980) entitled Starveling Year. Its arrival completed a pattern
of oppositional pegs dug into the terrain by women poets (and their women
editors) at the beginning of the inhospitable 1950s. From the last-dated of
Duggan's manuscript poems issues the voice of L'Écrivisse Mère (her identity
still escaping scholarship) addressing 'Brothers' who have ploughed and sowed:
hidden, archived voice yearns for the land, a place to stand constantly
overlaid by multiple issues of dispossession. The woman on land or sea,
singular and persevering, starts out a straightforward proposition soon
complicated by transferrals and contract; colonist soon colonised:
ballad gathers aggregates of image and syntax that deliberately overload the
genre's capacity for practical wisdom. Down she goes, leaving the morning
flux, mourning her separation from the (feminised) world of light:
flowers are impossible; no release, no rest from drudgery, she has vanished
permanently from the face of the earth. Every fourth line has provided a
disruptive end to the stanza but the final unit is spectacularly convoluted:
pearl, undersea, lodged (by the desire of the poem for a rhyme) in the shell
where it was produced, records disturbance beyond the standard transformations
of grit by beauty. It is intact in the flesh (not spoken of) which made it,
and the long fretting of nacre and mucous membrane waits under the surface of
the pearl's appeal as ornament or inlay. Duggan was looking for a simile for
mute feminine sorrow; the languages of the poem oversupplied her with a
through-road into the psychosexuality of female experience. Perhaps the
overload (and the reason the poem remained in typescript) was perceived by
Duggan as a literary offence, a straining after effect — but it is precisely
in that strain and the roughnesses it produces that other stories begin to
break through. The pearl, one step off clitoral (or foetal) analogy, and the
'third mouth, pink as coral' or the blue tide of smooth canticles are all part
of the offshore where women establish for themselves languages adequate to the
task of calling out consciousness of that condition and possible colloquy with
others. Duggan measured out the enormity of the undertaking: 'I have made
throats of thoughts and dreamed they sang. / So the court fool might leave his
little stool, / To creep into the empty daÏsed throne, / Dreaming his motley
into cloth of gold'.
By this measure a singing woman — gold-wet, with rainbow eyes — looks with
scant regard for chronology at Iris Wilkinson dreaming the embrace of hills
covered in gleaming wet gorse flower. The same poetic delights in rhyming
'wild' with 'child', 'word' with 'bird', and regularly juxtaposes 'woman' with
'human'. Duggan's dreaming fool wakes to laughter in court and finds 'the air
afleer with lights, / Himself still fool in jerkin, cap, and bells'.
laughed and laughed this morning when first one delighted friend then another
told me of your receiving the O.B.E. That you should be singled out for
Imperial honours was so funny, knowing how lightly you regard them. But be
pleased, be very pleased . . .
— Jessie Mackay to Eileen Duggan
defined the colour of the voile dress? Was the same person responsible for the
not quite chronological sequence of items? Custodial readers become in time
expert respondents. When Julia McLeely made funeral arrangements in 1972 for
Eileen Duggan, her friend and living companion of forty two years, the card
asking mourners to pray for the repose of the deceased soul had on its obverse
a picture of the Virgin and Child. Tip this to the light and the halos of
mother and sleeping child are suddenly interlocking lines of gold, her yellow
hood (corn-coloured, with a pattern of — roses?) is double-edged with gold
— and a multitude of gold stars covers her blue cloak. There she is —
Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, blue and gold and holding the baby:
Robin Hyde is here painting the 'Sun' a brilliant pink. She's not the clinging
vine I thought from her verses . . . She is not treading the right way to be
wife or mother — her cocktail parties left a very bad impression in
Christchurch. I hope Mr S. is not engaged to Robin.
— Jessie Mackay to Eileen Duggan
another tragedy intervenes as overdetermined echo: 'I am dying, Egypt, dying'
(Antony and Cleopatra, IV.xv.41) — the address of lover to lover
(Harry Sweetman dead in England in 1925 without Iris Wilkinson's knowledge) or
the address of son to mother in the impossible grievous out-of-time space
where life did not proceed. Hyde knew the play intimately: 'All but four
[poems of The Conquerors] were written here [at the Grey Lodge], when I
was blind and mute and deaf with illness — didn't care for any human
creature, but read over and over again the pages of Antony and Cleopatra'.
We recall Cleopatra brushing aside Antony's desire to speak of her safety:
'No, let me speak; and let me rail so high, / That the false housewife Fortune
shall break her wheel, / Provok'd by my offence' (IV.xv. 43-45). At one
remove, almost the last, Hyde could write: 'Sometimes fighting and dying are
better than anything else'; at another, earlier: 'I am for peace, against the
gates of Hell'.
This is not contradiction but persistence.
like Hyde's never leave entirely though they may be made over. Another poem,
in a section of her manuscripts marked as verses for children, tears reading
the poem was to be published on a children's page somewhere, its
autobiographical specifics muffled by the conventions of genre. Perhaps it was
part of a projected book of children's verses, The Littlest Moon, which
Hyde and Rawlinson compiled in 1935 and were going to send to Angus and
Robertson. And perhaps it was read to her blue-eyed, fair-haired son by the writing
mother who could not own both roles but stole them anyway. How shall we
construct her here? How shall we construct her, Duggan, or any of them between
silence and noise, presence and waiting, bandit and beggar, writer and mother,
at home and vagabonding — except by continuing to perform that and offered by the textual proliferation of poems, and pieces of poems, in the
places where they have been gathered together or written as markers into the
writing of others. Hyde knew the value of fragment ('Who [now] could . . .
throw into space just one of the thousand splintered stars in Shakespeare?')
or she wouldn't have called attention to the Sapphic fragments as she sensed
an iron sea closing over women poets in her own time. Record itself is obdurate; fractured but finally (the term is Mary Stanley's)
irrefrangible. Now we should turn to the manuscripts collected with utterly partisan care by
Julia McLeely and Grace Burgess, by Bill Edge, Gloria Rawlinson and Derek
Challis, and begin to read.
 Quoted in Gillian Boddy, 'The Life of Robin
Hyde', in Boddy and Jacqueline Matthews (eds), Disputed Ground: Robin
Hyde, Journalist (VUP, Wellington, 1991), p.30.
 Mackay, review of Duggan's New Zealand Bird Songs, Christchurch Times, 11 January 1930, p.33.
 Pat Lawlor, Confessions of a Journalist (Whitcombe & Tombs, Auckland, 1935), p. 214.
Eileen Duggan, 'Shades of Maro of Toulouse', More
Poems (Allen & Unwin, London, 1951), p.17.
For details of the publishing careers of Mackay,
Baughan, Bethell, Duggan and Hyde, see individual entries in John
Thompson's Bibliography in Terry Sturm (ed.), The Oxford History of New
Zealand Literature (OUP, Auckland, 1991). I have addressed the matter
and nature of the matrix in '"But don't forget the girl is a
genuis": Re-reading New Zealand Women Poets', a five-part radio
series broadcast on Concert FM, 29 July-26 August 1993.
Gloria Rawlinson, The Perfume Vendor (Hutchinson,
London, 1935); reprinted 1936, 1937. Robin Hyde, The Conquerors and
Other Poems (Macmillan, London, 1935). The figures and Hyde's reaction
are recorded in a letter of December 1935 to Mary Smee quoted in Disputed
Duggan, Poems (Allen & Unwin, London,
1937, 2nd ed. 1939 [1500 copies]; Macmillan, New York, 1938, 2nd ed.
1939). Available figures show print runs between 1000 and 1250 for
Duggan's earlier and later books; see F.M. Mackay, Eileen Duggan,
New Zealand Writers and Their Work (OUP, Wellington, 1977), pp.51-52.
Duggan, letter to W.F. Alexander, Turnbull MS
Papers 423, Folder 6; quoted in Mackay, p.55.
Duggan, '”Dit L'Écrivisse Mère . . .”', Selected
Poems, ed. Peter Whiteford (VUP, Wellington, 1994), p.103. Whiteford's
notes on this poem and 'Shades of Maro of Toulouse' indicate the scope of
Duggan's literary referencing; the term 'écrivisse' remains unidentified.
Henry James, 'The Middle Years', in Gerard
Hopkins (ed.), Selected Stories, v.2, (OUP, London, 1957), p.139.
Duggan, ‘Booty’. Poems (1937), p.20.
See also Matthew 11.12 [Douai Rheims Version]. Flannery O'Connor's novel The
Violent Bear It Away (1960) owes its title to the same Bible; my
thanks to Peter Simpson for pointing out the connection.
Hyde, 'Written in Cold', Persephone in Winter
(Hurst & Blackett, London, 1937), p.22.
Hyde, 'The Beaches' IV, Houses by the Sea, in
Gloria Rawlinson (ed.), Houses by the Sea (Caxton, Christchurch,
Hyde, 'The Houses' II, Houses by the Sea,
Rawlinson, Introduction to Houses by the Sea,
Hyde, 'The Conquerors', The Conquerors,
 Hyde, 'Journal 1935: An Autobiographical Work', 12 May 1935. Typescript copy in Auckland City Library, NZ MS 837. Hyde is quoting part of Roy Campbell's epigram 'On Some South African Novelists'; see Peter Alexander (ed.), Selected Poems (OUP, Oxford, 1982), p.20.
Hyde, 'Poetry in Auckland', Art in New
Zealand 9,1 (September 1936), pp.29-34.
Hyde, 'Woman', The Conquerors, p.14.
Hyde, 'Husband and Wife', Houses by the Sea,
 Recent research gathers the specifics and contextualises the attacks: see Elizabeth A. Thomas, 'Appropriation, Subversion and Separatism: The Strategies of Three New Zealand Women Novelists: Jane Mander, Robin Hyde and Sylvia Ashton-Warner', PhD thesis, University of Canterbury, 1990, pp.133-99; Susan Ash, 'Narrating a Female Subjectivity in the Works of Katherine Mansfield, Robin Hyde, Janet Frame and Keri Hulme', PhD thesis, University of Otago, 1990, pp.8-23; Mary Paul, 'The Politics of Reading: Mander, Mansfield, Hyde and Campion', PhD thesis, University of Auckland, forthcoming, ch. 5.
Hyde, 'Journey from New Zealand', Houses by
the Sea, p.133.
 Hyde, 'The Pioneers', Houses by the Sea, p.47.
See for example Allen Curnow, Introduction to A
Book of New Zealand Verse 1923-1945 (Caxton, Christchurch, 1945),
p.24; Denis Glover, The Arraignment of Paris (Caxton, Christchurch,
1937); or Glover and A.R.D. Fairburn, Poetry Harbinger (Pilgrim,
Baughan, Shingle-short and Other Verses
(Whitcombe & Tombs, Christchurch, 1908), pp.71-76; 137-205.
See entries on Baughan in A.G. Bagnall (ed.), New
Zealand National Bibliography: 1890-1960 (Government Printer,
Elsie Locke, Student at the Gates.
(Whitcoulls, Christchurch, 1981), chs 11, 22, and 23.
See Boddy, Disputed Ground, p.51.
Disputed Ground gathers
much of this writing, including 'The New Zealand Woman in Letters' (April
1936), 'Woman Today’ (April 1937), 'Women Have No Star' (June 1937), and
'New Zealand Authoresses' (February 1938). Thomas discusses the importance
of 'Poetry in Auckland' (see note 21 above), pp. 161-63.
Hyde, letter of 16 January 1938. Turnbull MS
papers 418, Folder 22.
 Denis Glover, review of The Conquerors in Tomorrow, 18 March 1936, p.12.
Hyde, 'Zoological', Houses by the Sea,
Hyde, 'The Dusky Hills', Houses by the Sea,
Hyde, 'Young Knowledge’, Houses by the Sea, p.60.
Hyde, 'The Hillside'. Unpublished typescript in
University of Auckland Manuscripts and Archives, Iris Wilkinson Papers
B-14. The collection contains several hundred manuscript poems which were
sorted and inventoried by Gloria Rawlinson in 1959.
Hyde, letter of 16 January 1938. Quoted in part
in John Weir, 'Five New Zealand Poets: A Bibliographical and Critical
Account of Manuscript Material', PhD thesis, University of Canterbury,
1974, p.72. Duggan's literary papers, hereafter referred to as Duggan
Estate, are housed in the Archdiocese of Wellington Archives.
Duggan, 'The Shag', New Zealand Bird Songs
(Harry H. Tombs, Wellington, 1929), p.29.
Duggan, 'The Tui', New Zealand Bird Songs,
Duggan, 'Heralds', Poems (1937), p.13.
Rawlinson's quotation is recorded in Disputed
Ground, p. 66; she substitutes ‘wanderers’ for ‘stumblers’.
‘The Unbelievers’ is described in Hyde's 1935 Journal; extant drafts
are part of her literary estate and are described in Patrick Sandbrook,
'Robin Hyde: A Writer at Work', PhD thesis, Massey University, 1985,
Duggan, 'Forerunners', Art in New Zealand
2,5 (September 1929), p.17.
Duggan, 'The Wheat', New Zealand Poems
(Allen & Unwin, London, 1940), p.31.
Duggan, ‘New Zealand Art’, Poems (1937),
p.47. Whiteford notes a cutting with author's inscription: 'Commonweal
N.Y. 1926? 1929?’, Selected Poems, p.148.
Duggan, 'After the Annunciation', Poems (1937),
Curnow, Introduction to A Book of New Zealand
Verse 1923-1945, p.25.
Duggan, 'Twilight', Poems (1937), p.30.
Curnow, Introduction to A Book of New Zealand
Verse 1923-1945, p.25n.
Grace Burgess, A Gentle Poet: A Portrait of
Eileen Duggan, O.B.E. (Burgess, Carterton, 1981), pp.84-87. Burgess
quotes from and paraphrases letters in the Duggan Estate; she was the
first to systematically sort the bulk of Duggan’s papers, which were then
deposited with the Catholic church according to instructions in Duggan’s
will. See Grace Burgess, letter of 11 December 1994 to Michele Leggott, in
University of Auckland Mss and Archives, Grace Burgess Papers.
Weir, p.109. Weir does not document the Penguin
anthology negotiations, but Anne French lists and summarises them in her
MA thesis, 'Georgians and New Zealand Georgians: A Study of Eileen Duggan
and R.A.K. Mason’, Victoria University of Wellington, 1979, pp.130-32.
Colin Patterson to Penguin Books, 12 July 1960,
Duggan Estate. The file consists of copies of letters made in the lawyer's
office and sent to Duggan for her information as the correspondence
Curnow, Introduction to The Penguin Book of
New Zealand Verse (Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1960), p.67.
Duggan to Sir Stanley Unwin, her publisher,
undated carbon (after 25 June 1958). Duggan's signed draft letter of 5
July 1958 to Curnow itemises the history of these choices. Both items in
Patterson was in 1958 a partner in Barnett Corry
Watts and Patterson, later Rudd Watts and Stone. See 'A Battler for Fair
Disclosure', obituary in the New Zealand Herald, 8 February 1990.
See W.H. Oliver, James K. Baxter: A Portrait
(Port Nicholson Press, Wellington, 1983), p.78; also Peter Simpson, 'Ways
to the Museyroom: Poetry Anthologies in the Fifties', Landfall 185
(April 1993), 95-105.
Duggan, 'Absence’, Selected Poems,
Duggan, '”Dit L'Écrivisse Mère . . .”', Selected
Poems, p.104 and note. See also Weir, p.97, where a probable date of
1951-52 is given.
Duggan, quoted in Weir, p.77; manuscripts
described p.97. French (p.145) lists a letter of 24 October 1932 from
Nettie Palmer to Duggan which discusses the poem. Letter and manuscripts
in Duggan Estate.
Duggan,'Song', New Zealand Poems, p.41.
Mackay, letter of 2 January 1937, Duggan Estate.
The receipt is an enclosure with the Wanganui
Regional Museum's letter of 18 December 1984 to Grace Burgess. Copy in
University of Auckland Manuscripts and Archives, Grace Burgess Papers.
Duggan, 'Bequest', Poems (1937), p.28.
The funeral card is part of the Grace Burgess Papers at Auckland
Mackay, letter of 6 April 1929, Duggan Estate.
Hyde, 'Autobiography,' Auckland City Library, NZ
MS 412A; also, from the same source: 'But they let me see him, though not
to hold him, after he was dead [. . .] He was very dark, the little face I
touched was warm, the mouth turned down, the hands were square [. . .]
They wouldn't let me see him again, — morphine and sleep instead',
quoted in Boddy, Disputed Ground, p.22.
Hyde, typescript in University of Auckland Manuscripts and Archives,
Holloway Press Archive.
Hyde, 1935 Journal, quoted by her son Derek
Challis in his introduction to Hyde's A Home in This World (Longman
Paul, Auckland, 1984), p.xiv.
Hyde, letter of 21 August 1939 to Gloria
Rawlinson, quoted in Rawlinson's Introduction to Houses by the Sea,
p.33; entry of 15 June in 1935 Journal.
Hyde, typescript in University of Auckland
Manuscripts and Archives, Iris Wilkinson Papers B-14.
Hyde, entry of 12 May in 1935 Journal. The
seventeen children's verses grouped together by Rawlinson in 1959 seem
likely to have been part of this project.
Hyde, quoted in Rawlinson's introduction to Houses by the Sea,
p.15; 'Women Have No Star', Press, 5 June 1937, reprinted in Disputed
 Stanley, 'The Widow', Starveling Year and Other Poems (AUP, Auckland, 1994), p.35.