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PANZA celebrates National Poetry Day, 28 August 2015, with a classic New Zealand poem on the famous rugby league ground Carlaw Park by Francis Cloke (1860-1941).

PANZA Archivist, sports fan and researcher Mark Pirie writes:

Carlaw Park was for many years during the amateur era the home of Auckland and New Zealand Rugby League.

Named after founder James Carlaw, a senior figure in a prominent League family, Carlaw Park matches date from 1921 until 2002, when the park was eventually condemned. Mount Smart Stadium became League’s new home.

City v Newton was the park’s first match. In those days, Rugby League was in hot competition with Rugby post-World War One. The Auckland Rugby Union changed their playing rules during the 1920s for fast running rugby and imposed bans on players who switched codes in an effort to stave off the competition from League. However, the All Black Invincibles tour of 1924-25 enhanced Rugby’s reputation as it continued to dominate against the League code and other winter sports like association football and hockey.

Auckland League legend Karl Ifwersen switched codes and became an All Black in 1921. Later, in the 1930s, All Black greats George Nepia and Bert Cooke switched codes and graced Carlaw Park.

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Rugby league players during a test match between New Zealand and Australia, which was played on 21 August 1937 in Auckland. George Nepia is stopping a back, on the far right. Possibly taken by an Evening Post staff photographer. Making New Zealand: Negatives and prints from the Making New Zealand Centennial collection. Ref: PAColl-3060-007. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22906498

Francis Cloke’s poem, ‘Carlaw Park’, has genuine qualities to it. A rare poem on the League code in New Zealand, it strikes home as it paints a delicate portrait of a rugged sport, and is unafraid to espouse the sport as a form of athletic art.

The poem first appeared in differing form as ‘Ode to Carlaw Park’ by “F. C., Parnell”, in the Rugby League News, 16 May 1925 (according to the 100 years, Auckland rugby league history, 2009).

Carlaw Park

There’s a neat little park in Parnell
Of its picturesque beauties I’d tell:
Overlooked by the trees
As they wave in the breeze
On whose branches the singing birds dwell.

For protection, its walls are built high
Just to hide from the view of the spy
Who never seems willing
To part with his shilling
For what others are anxious to buy.

It’s a beautiful place to behold,
Nicely sheltered from winds that are cold,
This model of freeland
The gem of New Zealand,
And its value’s not measured in gold.

High up on its long terraces grand
There a great many thousands can stand,
Where they all get a view
And a thrill through and through,
As the boys play the game at command.

There’s an artistic fence all round
Which encircles the main playing ground,
Where our active athletes
There perform their great feats
Of endurance that all doth astound.

It’s a bit of this world made anew,
And a place of enjoyment for you;
Will give, when completed,
Both standing and seated,
A full thirty-five thousand clear view.

Rugby League is the game they play,
Rugby League is the game come to stay,
Where the public of sport
By the thousand resort,
Get full measure for all that they pay.

When the game to its final has come,
And the critic has used froth and foam,
Just outside the front gate
There the tram-cars await
To take players and spectators home.

FRANCIS CLOKE

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Rugby match, New Zealand versus Great Britain, Carlaw Park, Auckland. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-46976-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30653

Cloke’s only collection (privately printed), Songs of New Zealand and Various Verses (Auckland, NZ: Dawson Printing), appeared in three editions: 1924, 1925, 1931. A regional Auckland poet, Cloke wrote popular verses on various Kiwi themes: sport (cricket, rugby, league, yachting, etc.), the landscape, towns and bays, and celebrations of church, political, historical and military figures, including aviator Jean Batten. He was a contemporary of other New Zealand poets like the recently republished Robert J Pope (1865-1949).

Some details on Cloke’s life are traceable. Cloke was born in the December quarter 1860, Launceston, Cornwall, UK. His father died when he was very young leaving his mother to raise the family alone. At age 9, Cloke began working in the coalmines in Yorkshire. In 1886, Cloke married Elizabeth Ross (1866-1935) and had a family with her. Francis, of the Parnell Methodist Church, worked as a labourer for Railways. They lived at 12 York Street, Parnell, Auckland, close to Carlaw Park. Francis was involved with coal mining at Kawakawa on arrival in New Zealand.

Cloke was the father of six children: John, Francis, William, Arthur and two girls: “Mrs F W Johnson (Kamo)” and “Mrs F W Kirby”. John Cloke (1894-1916), a Railways engineer, was killed in action at the Somme, France, World War One, aged 22 years. The three other sons were all involved in Auckland sport, and further research shows a family connection to the League code.

His son W E (Billy) Cloke, a warehouseman, was an Auckland Rugby League selector (1939-40-41), who selected George Nepia 1939 for Auckland, and earlier (as a player) had been a back (five-eighth, wing or centre) for Auckland’s Newton Rangers (a club that in 1912 and 1927 won the Fox Memorial club competition). Cloke was selected for the Kiwis in 1919 after a trial match. This was a tour of NSW and Queensland, and Cloke was included as a reserve back in the Fourth Test v Australia but didn’t play). An Auckland rep, Cloke played at centre in a famous win over Great Britain in 1920. Karl Ifwerson was his teammate. Cloke was then included as an emergency for the Kiwis v Great Britain but didn’t play. Billy also played cricket for Railways and was involved in yachting.

Another son Francis George Cloke, a railways worker, was a yachtsman, regularly mentioned in Auckland newspapers in Sanders Cup contests (a winner in 1922 crewing with Desert Gold and in 1929 crewing as owner of Avalon). Proud father Francis wrote a poem ‘Desert Gold’ celebrating his son’s achievement.

His final son Arthur Cloke, a caterer, was an opening batsman, an Auckland cricketer, for R.V. Cricket Club. Arthur played League like his brother Billy for Newton Rangers.

PANZA recognises Francis Cloke as a poet of interest during the Edwardian and Georgian eras. He doesn’t appear in any New Zealand poetry anthology that PANZA is aware of.

Article © Mark Pirie 2015

Works consulted:

Auckland Star newspaper
New Zealand Herald newspaper
Auckland, 100 Years of Rugby League, 1909-2009, by John Coffey and Bernie Wood (Wellington: Huia Publishers; Auckland: Auckland Rugby League, 2009).
An Illustrated History: Centenary 1910-2010: 100 years of New Zealand Rugby League (Auckland: New Zealand Rugby League, 2010).

Websites/Databases used:
Free UK birth records
Birth, Deaths and Marriages, New Zealand
Archway – Archives New Zealand
PapersPast, National Library of New Zealand
Alexander Turnbull Library online collections, Wellington, New Zealand

The 22nd issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Winter 2015, volume 6, issue 2: Rowan Gibbs on Dick Harris (1885-1926); Obituary: John O’Connor (1949-2015); classic New Zealand poetry by Jean Hamilton Lennox (1909-1979); comment on Edward Skelton Garton (1864-1935); comment on Geoffrey Pollett (c1909-1937); comments on Helen Bascand and Paul Hill; new publications by PANZA members: Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems by Michael O’Leary and Reality of the Imagination by Hussein Jodu (Ali);  donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been significantly updated to reflect new acquisitions June-August.

Recent acquisitions include donations from Cliff Fell and Vaughan Rapatahana.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past year. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

The Katherine Mansfield scholar Dr Gerri Kimber has discovered 26 unpublished poems by Katherine Mansfield in a Chicago library in the United States.

The poems, written during Mansfield’s “hedonistic period” 1909-10, were in an unpublished manuscript submitted to the publisher Elkin Mathews who published works by both James Joyce and Ezra Pound.

More information can be found from the following links:

Stuff news site:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/books/69330731/previously-unseen-katherine-mansfield-poems-discovered-in-us-library

Friends of the Turnbull Library blog:

http://www.turnbullfriends.org.nz/katherine-mansfields-hedonistic-period/

The 21st issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Autumn 2015, volume 6, issue 1: Jack Body (1944-2015) remembered; ANZAC tribute: On the Death of Col. Malone; 100 Years From Gallipoli poetry project; classic New Zealand poetry by Karen Smith (1911-2013); comment on Elizabeth Montgomery; Hilaire Kirkland project; rare George Nepia poem found; new publication by PANZA member: Tony Taylor in Conversation with John Lennon [Beatles’ New Zealand tour, 1964];  donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

The Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) now has over 5,000 titles.

Thanks to all those who have donated to the Archive over the past year.

The Poetry Archive of New Zealand catalogue has now been significantly updated to reflect new acquisitions March-May.

Recent acquisitions include donations from Graeme Lindsay (Australia), Mark Young, Wilsonville Collective, Phantom Billstickers, Alistair Paterson and a sizeable donation of around 300 titles from John Quilter, Quilters Bookshop. Dr Michael O’Leary’s publication of Dr Tony Taylor’s 1964 New Zealand conversations with John Lennon has also been received and includes O’Leary’s poem tribute to Lennon.

The Archive began in February 2010 with around 3,000 titles and has grown substantially in the past year. PANZA would particularly like to thank Auckland poet, editor and novelist Alistair Paterson, Wellington poet/publisher Mark Pirie, Wellington publisher Roger Steele, Cecilia Johnson and the late New Zealand anthologist, poet and memoirist Harvey McQueen for their sizeable contributions to the fast-growing collection.

A full list of donations is listed in each issue of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

johnphoto

PANZA acknowledges the sudden death of one of New Zealand poetry’s regional generals, John O’Connor.

For many years, John was involved with the Canterbury Poets’ Collective in the organisation of readings and publications. As an editor, he is best known for the Sudden Valley Press, the journal plainwraps and Poets Group in Christchurch. John was a tireless worker for poets in Canterbury.

As a poet, he held an international reputation as one of New Zealand’s best haiku poets and was a technically accomplished, valued and skilled poetry practitioner and critic.

John published many volumes of his poetry since the 1970s. His last collection Whistling in the Dark (HeadworX) came out last year.

All those he helped, published and supported in New Zealand poetry circles will miss John.

A write up on John will appear in the Winter edition of Poetry Notes, the PANZA newsletter.

This year marks the 100th anniversary since the battle at Gallipoli and the New Zealanders’ Chunuk Bair offensive, considered to be one of the defining moments in New Zealand history and national identity.

The Gallipoli offensive at Anzac Cove in Turkey is well documented by military historians. ANZAC bravery won wide praise for reaching Chunuk Bair’s summit which they briefly held, but it grew into an unsuccessful campaign, the remaining soldiers withdrawn and eventually evacuated at nightfall from the peninsula. Over two thousand New Zealand soldiers died there, and many more were wounded.

PANZA would like to offer a tribute to New Zealand’s fallen in the form of verse authentic to the country at the time of World War One.

The anonymous poem, ‘On the Death of Col. Malone’, found by PANZA Archivist Mark Pirie, appeared in the Stratford Evening Post, Taranaki, in 1915. He also came across a second poem tribute “Love is Mightier Than Death” mentioning Col. Malone in Papers Past, the National Library of New Zealand’s website.

The subject of the poem Col. Malone (1859-1915), of the Wellington Battalion, was one of New Zealand’s prominent figures at Gallipoli, and successfully reached Chunuk Bair’s summit.

malone

Lieutenant Colonel William George Malone. McAllister, James, 1869-1952: Negatives of Stratford and Taranaki district. Ref: 1/1-012824-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22789124

Some details can be found in Papers Past (Taranaki Daily News, 26 October 1915):

The “Stratford Post” publishes a letter from Chaplain-Captain Father McMenamin, who is at Gallipoli, to Father Maples, in the course of which the reverend gentleman says, concerning the great fight on August 7th: “Our boys fought nobly, and I can say without boasting that there are no troops to excel them. No matter how severe the assault, they never broke or wavered for an instant. I cannot tell you of our losses, but the casualty lists will tell their own tale. The greatest loss that our Infantry Brigade suffered was in the death of Col. Malone. His work over here has been magnificent, and he has proved himself to be every inch a soldier. In this last great fight he rose to the occasion and made fame for himself and the battalion he commanded. On Sunday, August 7, his men had the foremost position, and from daylight till dark they fought like tigers. Colonel Malone, who did not know what fear was, remained all day in the thick of the battle; encouraging his brave men by his own example. About 6 p.m., he was struck down by a burst of shrapnel, and died without a word.”

Another report (Star, 10 January 1916) notes:

In the attack on Chunuk Bair [Malone’s] resolute leadership was an inspiration to his men. He was ever in the van, scorning all danger. Early in the day a rifle that he carried was pierced by a Turkish bullet. This interested him, and he said he would keep it as a memento of the fight. Whenever he moved forward or along the trench he picked up the battered rifle again and carried it with him. Finally he was shot through the head by a bullet from a shrapnel shell that burst over the trench. He sank back into the arms of one of his officers [Captain Hastings] and died painlessly on the highest point on the Peninsula attained by our arms.

In 1982, Maurice Shadbolt’s play, Once on Chunuk Bair, considered that Col. Malone was killed by ‘friendly fire’ from a British fleet ship firing shrapnel shells over their trench but historians didn’t support this version of events (Shadbolt took it from Robert Rhodes James, Gallipoli, 1965, that includes Captain Hastings’ report).

An article in the Evening Post tends to support Shadbolt’s and others’ version of events:

HIT BY BRITISH NAVAL SHRAPNEL.

Malone was close up to the fighting line, on foot, encouraging his men when he was struck. He was hit by shrapnel from a shell fired by one of our own ships. Four or five bullets struck him. The ships were doing their best to support the troops, firing over their heads from the sea. The Turks were so close, and the position occupied by the battalion was so difficult, that a good many casualties on our side were caused the same way. However, my informant seemed to regard this loss as inevitable, and not to be set against the value of the support given at the time by the ships’ guns.

He said that Col. Malone was exceedingly popular with his men; that he was a fine officer, and had done great service, which had been appreciated by his brigadier. The man also drew a picture of Malone’s energy and care for his men, and personal example to them. He said that each morning the colonel might be seen having a hard run to keep himself fit and in good condition; that often he had seen him with open shirt and sleeves rolled up, handling a shovel or axe or pick-axe, and showing how some piece of work should be done.

Shortly before his death Col. Malone had gone down to an English battalion (one of Kitchener’s new ones) which had lost most of its officers, and was under a murderous fire, and had helped to get it into order again. As a proof of his popularity, this man said that he was affectionately known among his men as “Mollie Malone.”

(Evening Post, Volume XC, Issue 117, 13 November 1915, Page 13)

A large number of tributes and obituaries for Col. Malone are in Papers Past searches near the time of his death. He was certainly a popular, well-known man in Taranaki and elsewhere who led by example.

The New Zealand public had remembered him also in verse.

Poem by “Hei-konei-ra”

ON THE DEATH OF COL. MALONE

The roll is called, and deathless names
Are written where the Book of Life
Tells of the lurid battle flames,
Of shot and steel, high hopes and aims,
Brave deeds amid a world of strife.
Such pages are for those alone,
Who heard the call that echoes through
The far-thrown aisles of Britain’s fame,
For in her hour of need they drew
Their swords, and at her call, they came.

On sunlit plain and dark defile
They carved their names, their thoughts and creeds,
And there Death’s Angel paused a while
And entered each – the rank and file –
And made a record of their deeds,
The silent witness of the dead
Perhaps alone, who watched them go,
Whose icy fingers slowly turned
The storied pages, moving slow,
When youth’s high courage fiercely burned.

And here is one, whose shield appears
Through Britain’s early years of stress,
Whose motto through the marching years
Was ever this – “That Justice hears
The weak one’s call and gives redress.”
It mattered not that his great creed
Might ask from him great sacrifice.
He only knew that for a space
He clothed a soul that never dies, –
A soul that asks no resting place.

Through the storm-tossed mantle falling –
Snows of ages – on the scroll
Of Britain’s fame a voice is calling
Gathering where the war drums roll:
“Brave one, thou has answered smiling,
Courage lights the stormy way
Of our noble children filing
Through valhalla’s halls to-day.”

(Stratford Evening Post, 26 August 1915)

A second poem tribute that is also related to Malone’s death appears in Papers Past by a woman poet of Kapuni, written whilst milking her cows:

LOVE IS MIGHTIER THAN DEATH.”
[In forwarding these lines, the writer —a woman—says that the thoughts are her own, and that she put them into verse one evening whilst she was milking her cows. She says, further, that if love for our brothers, our little children, our aged, the freedom of our Empire and consideration for those who are suffering at the hands of our enemies, are roused within us, there will be no need for conscription.]

Let us take for an example
Brave Malone, and many more,
Who have given their lives for others
On that distant battle shore.
Their high service shows us plainly,
We must serve, too, one and all,
If we wish to save our Empire,
From a low and shameful fall.

How arousing, how appalling
Are the things we hear each day –
Think of all our comrades falling,
Who have gone and led the way:
Deck their memories with laurel,
Sing their praise in every clime;
Their great deeds will ring for ages,
Through the corridors of time.

While we speak thus of the fallen,
Let us think of those in pain,
Who will bear the scars of battle,
When they come to us again:
When their stories stir the feeling,
Till our hearts are caught for breath,
We will feel the truth revealing –
“Love is mightier than death.”

Let us now be truly brothers,
Prove our manhood ere too late,
Let us go to help the others
Save our land from evil fate.
We must join our strength together,
Fight and fight while we have breath,
And so prove to all the ages –
“Love is mightier than death.”

Kapuni. —J.M.L.

(Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXIX, 5 November 1915, Page 3)

Many more poems about the Great War have been written, both from World War One and from contemporary writers looking back on the war. A newly published Australian anthology When ANZAC Day Comes Around: 100 Years From Gallipoli Poetry Project, compiled by Graeme Lindsay, features 200 New Zealand and Australian poets remembering war and dates back to the 1840s. The Printing Museum in New Zealand is working on several World War One poetry projects, including collections by two World War One New Zealand poets: Alfred Clark and Don H Lea.

PANZA has featured some World War One verse in previous issues of Poetry Notes (including Don H Lea) and is always on the look out for New Zealand war verse. This small tribute in verse is but one of numerous mediums being used for this year’s remembrance.

esawxmassurprise2014cov

In the spirit of the Beatles who put out a Christmas record for their fans, Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, the Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) and HeadworX offer to you, our friends and clients, this small token for your enjoyment.

Poems on football and cricket, Aztec Pyramids, the art of poetry, historical 19th century verse and an excerpt from Michael O’Leary’s recently published autobiography Die Bibel.

Contributors: Michael O’Leary, Rowan Gibbs, Harry W. Emmet, F. W. Nielsen Wright, and Mark Pirie.

Download and view the free pdf of this book (file size 766KB):
http://www.markpirie.com/books/esaw-christmas-surprise-2014

The 20th issue of the newsletter from Poetry Archive of New Zealand Aotearoa is available now for download as a pdf.

Inside Summer 2015, volume 5, issue 4: Niel Wright on Mark Young and Poetry as Intellectual Construct; comment on Dick Bird (1925-1984); classic New Zealand poetry by Dorothy Gard’ner (1884-1955); tribute to Les Cleveland (1921-2014); further comment on Robert J Pope by Bill Sutton and Niel Wright; new publications When Harry Met Marion by Rowan Gibbs and Poems for my Father by Mark Pirie; donate to PANZA through PayPal; recently received donations; about the Poetry Archive.

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