Story: Poetry

‘Landfall in unknown seas’

In 1942 the Department of Internal Affairs commissioned Allen Curnow to write a poem to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Abel Tasman's arrival in New Zealand. The poem was accompanied by music written by Douglas Lilburn. Listen to the last few bars of the musical introduction in a performance by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 1972.  Actor and playwright Bruce Mason then reads the first verse of 'Landfall in unknown seas'.

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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 (Landfall in unknown seas 02/11/1972/Reference ID14282); sound courtesy of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Lilburn Trust, Bruce Mason estate, John Ritchie (conductor); poem copyright Tim Curnow


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How to cite this page:

John Newton, 'Poetry - Allen Curnow and literary nationalism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 April 2024)

Story by John Newton, published 22 Oct 2014