Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Magpies - Denis Glover

The Magpies
- Denis Glover

When Tom and Elizabeth took the farm
The bracken made their bed,
And Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said.

Tom's hand was strong to the plough
Elizabeth's lips were red,
And Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said.

Year in year out they worked
While the pines grew overhead,
And Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said.

But all the beautiful crops soon went
To the mortgage-man instead,
And Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said.

Elizabeth is dead now (it's years ago)
Old Tom went light in the head;
And Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies said.

The farm's still there. Mortgage corporations
Couldn't give it away.
And Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle
The magpies say.


O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.

Denis Glover (1912 - 80). 'The Magpies', with its Depression landacape, is proably the nearest thing New Zealand verse has to a 'classic' - though Glover's own Sings Harry sequence woudl run it close; it first appeared in Recent Poems (Christchurch, 1941). Glover was a notable printer as well as a poet, and founded the Caxton Press, which published many important books of New Zealand poetry. His own poetry is lyrical and satirical by turns. Penguin published a Selected Poems in 1981.

From Manhire, B. (Ed.). (1993). 100 new zealand poems. Auckland: Godwit Publishing Ltd

3 comments:

  1. keep em short and poignant. www.mark-poems.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Thanks for sharing this blog, after reading this blog my most of the doubt are cleared, keep going on.

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  3. Thanks for posting this. I had to learn it at school as a kid and now 51 can still remember the 1st 2 verses!

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