Story: Poetry

R. A. K. Mason

R. A. K. Mason wrote a number of very fine poems of undoubted power before the age of 30. Grim and spare in style, they drew on Latin and Christian traditions and won great respect among the group of younger poets and intellectuals connected to The Phoenix journal. However, from the early 1930s Mason's interests diverged from poetry and he increasingly focused his creative energies on Marxist journalism and plays.  In the sound file Mason is reading his poem, 'Be Swift O Sun', which Allen Curnow described as one of the few of Mason's poems which clearly locates itself on the Pacific side of the globe.

About this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago
Reference: S14-014d

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (New Zealand poets' readings/Reference ID36302)

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How to cite this page:

John Newton, 'Poetry - The early 20th century: isolated achievements', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/speech/43068/r-a-k-mason (accessed 21 November 2017)

Story by John Newton, published 22 Oct 2014