L A S T P O E M S
b y K E N D R I C K S M I T H
Y M A N
Kendrick Smithyman (1922-95) was one of New Zealand’s
best and most prolific poets. During his 50 year career
he published a dozen collections of verse including
Seven Sonnets (1946), The Blind Mountain
(1950), Inheritance (1962), Flying to
Palmerston (1968), Earthquake Weather (1972),
The Seal in the Dolphin Pool (1974), Dwarf
with a Billiard Cue (1978), Stories about Wooden
Keyboards (1985), Are You Going to the Pictures?
(1987), Selected Poems (1989) and
Auto/biographies (1992). His major book-length poem
Atua Wera was published posthumously in 1997.
Last Poems includes 36 poems
written between 1992 and 1995. In them Smithyman ranges
over many of his familiar concerns—the landscape and
history of Northland, incidents drawn from childhood and
wartime memories, poems based on his wide reading in
literature, history, philosophy and other fields, witty
anecdotes about people and places. The book also
includes a photograph of the author by Kenneth Quinn and
notes by Peter Simpson.
Last Poems was designed,
letterpress printed and bound at the Holloway Press by
Tara McLeod. There are 150 numbered copies.