new zealand electronic poetry centre


A.R.D. Fairburn


Opening the archive: 

Fairburn’s 1925-1930 Scrapbook
Fairburn Papers, AU Mss & Archives A 11.14

This is one of two scrapbooks in the University of Auckland Library collection containing clippings of Fairburn’s early published articles. The 1925-30 volume also contains poems, quips and visual material by a range of writers and artists who had made an impression on him. Many of the poems are typed out and pasted into the album on top of its original pages (the book was a volume of Australian scenic photographs). There is a strong sense of design in the arrangement of visuals and texts on each page, and some characteristically gleeful juxtapositions of material. Perhaps most interesting is the scope of what Fairburn admired as a young writer looking for models and directions in the literary scene of the 1920s, and what he had to say about his elders and contemporaries. His contributions to the Christchurch Sun here coincide with the literary editorship of that paper by John Schroder who was encouraging and publishing work by a number of young writers, including Fairburn, R.A.K. Mason and Robin Hyde. The clippings of Fairburn’s published articles have been annotated and given bibliographic numbering by Olive Johnson.

The scrapbook contains items by the following authors and artists (numbers in square brackets indicate scanned page):

Richard Aldington  ‘The Lover’ [13]
S. Anderson  ‘A Word for Modern Poetry’ [6]
Stanley Baldwin  ‘All the best men are optimists’ [31]
[Thomas] Beddoes  ‘Dream-pedlary’ [19], ‘Song’ [20]
Robert Bridges  ‘Lovely England’ [17]
Stephen Crane  ‘I Saw a Man’ [18]
Ian Donnelly  ‘Of NZ Poets: Some Notes and Comments No. 3: Mr R.A.K. Mason’ [11]
Eileen Duggan  ‘The Slow One’ [22]
A.R.D. Fairburn  ‘"Neither a Borrower": The Poems of Frederick Boden’ [5], ‘This Poetry Business’ [6] [7], ‘If I Were Prime Minister’ [9], ‘Auckland’s Art Gallery: Good Works – And Very Bad’ [12], ‘Choosing the Laureate: A Fascinating Pastime’ [12] [13], ‘Housman’ [14], ‘The Australian Poem’ [15], ‘The Austra-bloody-laise’ [15], ‘The Kindly Emperor and the Poetasters’ [21], ‘Modern Poetic Tendencies: What of The Future?’ [22], ‘Conscientious Objectors’ [23], ‘Rupert Brooke: A Poet of England’ [24] [25], Letters [25], ‘Down from the Shelf: Tennyson Again’ [26], ‘Necessity for Insanity: Or, Wanted, A Few Madmen’ [29], ‘Neither a Borrower . . . ‘ [30]
Clifton Firth ‘Danse Obscene’ [2]
Robert Frost  ’Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ [17]
Leot Gibbs  ‘So red, like cyclamen of darkest hue’ [18], ‘A still, a warm, a lazy heat’ [18]
Robert Graves  ‘This, I admit: Death is terrible to me’ [19], ‘An ancient saga tells us how’ [20], ‘Who grafted quince on Western May?’ [31]
Thomas Hardy  ‘I tarried far and, lo! I stood within’ [23]
Heine (trans. Untermeyer)  ‘Death it is but the long cool night’ [25]
Margaret Macpherson  ‘Justice for Gentlemen’ [4]
R.A.K. Mason  Ad Mariam’ [2], ‘Nox Perpetua Dormienda’ [3], ‘Housman: An English Pessimist’ [7], ‘Man and Beast’ [21], ‘Sonnet’ [21], ‘Flattering Unction’ [21]
Geofftrey de Montalk  ‘What Does it mean to You’ [8], ‘Aotearoa’ [14]
Ezra Pound  ‘Image from d’Orleans’ [16], ‘Society’ [21], ‘The Temperaments’ [30]
O.S.  From an essay in the Monitor [8]
Siegfried Sassoon  ‘The Heart’s Journey (V)’ [16], ‘I have trod the upwatd and the downward slope’ [28]
J.K. Stephen  ‘To R[udyard] K[ipling]’ [16]
W.S.T. [Winifred Tennant?]  ‘The poet Fairburn called on me’ [21]
Sara Teasdale  ‘I Shall Not Care’ [23]
W.H. Vanderbilt  ‘The public be damned’ [23]
Charles W. Whitlessey  ‘Go to Hell’ [22]
Oscar Wilde  ‘A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’ [23]
W.B. Yeats  ‘They have spoken against you everywhere’ [28]
Bookplates by Fairburn  Carl von Straubel [25], Clifton Firth [27], E.B.B. Boswell [27], Winifred Tennant [27], (no name) [27], (no name) [28], Bridges [28], R.A.K. Mason [30]
Clippings (photos, cartoons)  [10], [20], [26], [27], [28], [31]
Unattributed (ARDF?) poem  ‘There was a lady sweet and kind’ [16]
Unattributed (ARDF?) verses  [13], [15]

nzepc note
Michele Leggott, June 2002


Last updated 30 June, 2002