C O L L E C T E D  P O E M S  (1 9 6 2 )                     

From
IN THE MANNER OF MEN, 1923

            1. Omnia Vincit Oceanus
            II. I strayed where sunk fleets
            III. Out from Sea-Bondage

THE BEGGAR, 1924
PENNY BROADSHEET, 1925
NO NEW THNG, 1934
END OF DAY, 1936
RECENT POEMS, 1941
From THIS DARK WILL LIGHTEN, 1941
UNCOLLECTED POEMS, 1925-1962
POEMS FROM MSS, 1924-1930


 O T H E R  P O E T R Y  A N D  P R O S E 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS AND VERSE, 1922-1964

From THE PEOPLE'S VOICE, 1939-1957
DRAMA AND DANCE, 1938-1963

UNPUBLISHED POEMS FROM MSS

SHORT STORIES, 1931-33



R.A.K. Mason (1905-1971)



ABOUT R.A.K. MASON

R
onald Allison Kells Mason
was described by Allen Curnow as New Zealand's "first wholly original, unmistakably gifted poet". He was born in Penrose, Auckland. on 10 January 1905. He was educated at Auckland Grammar School, where he excelled in English and Latin, and some years later at Auckland University College, where he studied for a BA in Latin and French. eventually graduating in 1939.
    Mason's poetic output is not large and nearly all his best work was produced before he turned twenty-five. To quote his most recent biographer Rachel Barrowman: "His tough, knotty, elusive poems— finely-formed sonnets, sardonic love poems, grim meditations on death and betrayal—do not lend themselves easily to simple or literal readings, about either time or place."1
    Mason died in Takapuna, Auckland, on 13 July 1971.
See here for a Chronology of Mason's life, reproduced from Caselberg's biography, and details of his published works, including his journalistic articles.   
    For further information on R.A.K. Mason's life and work, see the author entries from the Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, the New Zealand Book Council, Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and the four full-length studies listed below.

1Rachel Barrowman, R.A.K. Mason, 1905–1971.pdf, Kōtare 7, no. 3 (2008), p. 158.



BIOGRAPHIES AND CRITICAL STUDIES OF R.A.K. MASON

Barrowman, Rachel. Mason: The Life of R.A.K. Mason, Victoria University Press, 2003, 445pp.

Asclepius [John Caselberg], Poet Triumphant: The Life and Writings of R.A.K. Mason, Wellington, Steele Roberts, 2004, 336pp.

Weir, J.E.  New Zealand Writers and their Work: R.A.K. Mason, Oxford University Press, Wellington, 1977, 64pp.(pdf)

Doyle, Charles. R.A.K. Mason, Twayne's World Author Series, New York, 1970, 203pp.







CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON R.A.K. MASON

Those interested in critical commentary on Mason's work should see the section Critical Essays on Mason: A Select List. It comprises
books, academic theses, articles, reviews, blogs and web pages that deal with his life and works. Most of the items can be read online or downloaded as pdfs from this site.


NOTE ON THE TEXTS

This site reproduces all the poems from Mason’s Collected Poems, published by the Pegasus Press, Christchurch, 1962 (and later editions of the same). In some cases, earlier versions of the poems and/or links to them have also been included for the sake of comparison. Allen Curnow's Intoduction to the Collected Poems can be seen here.
    The site also contains
miscellaneous poetry and verse that Mason published elsewhere but chose not to include in his Collected Poems, such as "Sonnet", "Reunion" and "Tria Carmina ad Miram", as well as his polemical pieces in the New Zealand Communist Party newspaper People's Voice.
    Also included is a selection of unpublished poems and fragments from Mason’s notebooks. These are reproduced from the Caselberg and Barrowman biographies and from the PhD thesis of J.E. Weir.

    Although the main focus of this site is on Mason's poetry, some prose works including his four published short stories and several play scripts also appear, along with some juvenilia from the Auckland Grammar School Chronicle.
    It is hoped that the photographs, footnotes and links on this site will be helpful to readers, particularly those who may be unfamiliar with the New Zealand literary milieu.
    Comments on this site may be sent to:

READINGS  OF R.A.K. MASON'S POEMS

    Listen to readings of R.A.K. Mason's poems on YouTube.



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