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12 Taonga



Poet and novelist; born Rarotonga, 25 June 1925; son of John Archibald Campbell and Teu (née Bosini) of Tongareva; married (1) Fleur Adcock; 2 sons (diss. 1957) (2) Meg Andersen, 1958, 1 son, 2 daughters. Lives at Pukerua Bay in a house looking out towards Kapiti Island, with his wife, Meg, who is also a poet, and five springer spaniel dogs (including the ghost of KooShe).

Education : Otago Boys' High School; Victoria University College, B.A., 1953; Wellington Teachers' College, 1952 - 53 Teacher Newtown School, 1954; Editor, School Journal, 1955 - 1972 : Senior Editor, N.Z. Council for Educational Research, 1972 -- 87.

Awards & Honours: Guest writer, Adelaide Festival of the Arts, 1978; N.Z. Book Award for Poetry, 1982 ; Arts Council Scholarship in Letters, 1990; Writer's Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington, 1992; Pacific Islands Artist Award, l998; Hon. D.Litt.; Victoria University, 1999.


Poetry Books:
  • Mine Eyes Dazzle, 1950
  • Sanctuary of Spirits, 1963
  • Kapiti : Selected Poems, 1972
  • The Dark Lord of Savaiki, 1980
  • Soul Traps, 1985
  • Stone Rain: The Polynesian Strain, 1992
  • Gallipoli and Other Poems, 1999
  • Maori Battalion, 1999


  • The Frigate Bird, 1989
  • Sidewinder, 1991
  • Fantasy with Witches, 1998


  • Island to Island, 1984.
  • Poets in Our Youth, 1992.

Gallipoli Penninsula
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   hi-fi (mp3 : 850KB ) 


Gallipoli Peninsula


It was magical when flowers
appeared on the upper reaches
not that we saw much of the upper reaches.
But when we did,
we were reminded of home
when spring clothed the hills with flowers.
The dead lying among them
seemed to be asleep.
I can never forget the early mornings,
before the killings started up,
when the sea was like a mirror
under little wisps of cloud
breathing on its surface, so dazzling
it hurt the eye.
and the ships, so many of them,
they darkened the sea.
But the evenings too were magical,
with such hues in the sky
over Macedonia,
so many colours, gold bars,
green, red, and yellow.
We noticed these things,
when the firing stopped and we had respite.
It was good to feel,
during such moments,
that we were human beings once more,
delighting in little things,
in just being human.

[Gallipoli and Other Poems (Wai-te-ata Press, 1999)]




Last updated July 15, 2004