After the appearance of Fleur Adcock's Poems 1960-2000 she wrote no more poems for several years.
This cessation coincided with - but was not entirely caused by - her giving up smoking.
When poetry returned to her in 2003 it tended towards a sparer, more concentrated style.
This new collection continues to reflect her preoccupations with family matters and with her ambivalent feelings about her native New Zealand. Her initial inspiration was the letters her father wrote home from England to his parents during World War II, which evoked her own memories of that era.
The central sequence moves from her first coming to consciousness in New Zealand up to and through the war years in Britain and on to sketches from her teens in puritanical postwar Wellington after her reluctant return - not without her usual sardonic eye for incongruities and absurdities.
There are also affectionate poems for her grandchildren and her late mother.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 64 pages
- Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 31/05/2010
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9781852248789
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Review by VioletBramble
A new collection from New Zealand poet Fleur Adcock. The poems are about her family's move to England during WWII. The poems start with the family packing to leave New Zealand, their arrival in England and subsequent multiple moves to other towns and homes, their return to New Zealand after the war and poems of more recent events that evoke those times for Adcock. The poems are straightforward and some are humorous.<b>The Mill Stream</b>by Fleur AdcockAnd what was the happiest day I remember?It was when we went to the Mill Stream -my sister and I and the Morris kids.We wore our bathing-suits under our dresses(subterfuge), crossed the live railway lines(forbidden), and tramped through bluebell woods.There was a bridge with green and brown shadowsto lurk among in the long afternoon.Chest high in the stream, with pointy water-snailsas escorts, I could hardly believe my luck.Happiness is chemical. Sunshine and watertrigger it. (And I couldn't even swim.)