Sunday, December 19, 2010

Niel Wright’s NZ cricket poem

Here’s another cricket-related poem by Wellington poet, critic and publisher Niel Wright also known as F W N (Nielsen) Wright. Niel is a contributor to A Tingling Catch with his 'Elegy in the Kaiwharawhara Valley' about Ian Galloway Park in Wellington. I considered Niel's other poem 'Age Knocks' for A Tingling Catch but in the end I decided to leave it out when I thought it best to cut the book to under 200 pages. Nevertheless it’s important to the "Tingling Catch" blog as an online archive of New Zealand cricket poetry:


Age Knocks

Age knocks the human dream for six;
   Exposing as a comfort zone
The middle years
   Of lives like mine and yours

Then some pursue delusory success.
   And others over a conundrum puzzle.
Age knocks the human dream for six.

Age even has no place for sex;
Penis reduced to pizzle.
   Then all your efforts own
Mere hustle and mere bustle.

Age knocks the human dream for six;
   Exposing as a comfort zone
The middle years
   Of lives like mine and yours.

Poem © F W Nielsen Wright

I like the poem’s idea of having a cricket ball hit for six compared to the process of human aging. Niel implies that aging which comes to us all eventually is much like a bowler being hit for six. This can be a deflating action for any bowler just as aging can be deflating for many. There is a sense of a loss of power, you can no longer do what you did in your younger years. 
The poem like many of Niel’s writings makes use of a novel idea. Some of the rhymes may not be to everyone’s tastes, but Niel tries to make use of any word from any given time period. As such, he is like the home handyman that builds with every bit of timber he can find. Some critics have labelled him ‘old-fashioned’ concerning his vocabulary and technique but that is Niel and to judge him solely on his choice of words or technique and form would be to miss the value of his poetry overall.
In 2010, I edited and published Niel’s selected poems The Pop Artist’s Garland ( a selection from his epic poem The Alexandrians and some Post-Alexandrian work) and co-organised the Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa with Niel and Michael O’Leary.
Check out Nelson Wattie’s launch speech on the Poetry Archive opening and Niel’s book at:
More information on Niel at Wikipedia:

Article © Mark Pirie 2010

The Pop Artist's Garland by F W N Wright
(HeadworX: Wellington, 2010)

1 comment:

  1. i like the poem very much, niel, and the cover + title of the selected poems, too.... thanks niel, thanks mark -m