Kendrick Smithyman--New Zealander

 

Kendrick Smithyman
(1922-    )

 

Born in New Zealand in 1922, Kendrick Smithyman was one of New Zealand’s most prolific writers.  His career spanned over five decades.  The Collected Poems, completed shortly before his death in 1995, contain 1500 poems.  However, not included are several hundred poems which Smithyman decided that he did not want to preserve.  Smithyman entered the New Zealand military in 1941, and served as a bombardier, a quartermaster and then in 1942, joined the Royal NZ Air Force.  It was during the war that he began to write poetry on a regular basis.  Following the war Smithyman entered the teaching profession and continued to work with special needs children for almost twenty years.  He retired in 1963 to devote most of his time to writing.


Armistice

… Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I have spent! and to
see how many of mine old acquaintance are dead!

Silence: We shall follow, cousin.

Now through tatty Memory’s fingers
pass out sorrows, shred out angers.

Everything is passing. Go,
indignations. Go, dangers.
All temptations, get and go,
may those years be buried deep.
What scrap of trivia should you keep?
Let no recollection show.

Pray Gunner Silence your companion
at the Battery Reunion.