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Doris A. Prentice: Three Ne...Embedded video
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These quirky songs, demonstrating a modernism that exceeds many of Prentice's male contemporaries, were published in 1929 by Paxton Press in London. Charles Allen was a famous Dunedin writer who produced socially aware novels and poetry. He was considered an important writer during his lifetime, being mentioned in Robin Hyde’s 1938 critique of New Zealand literature, alongside Jessie Mackay and Eileen Duggan. He was blind, which is what gives these poems about birds a particular piquancy.
Apart from the Three New Zealand Bird Songs, there are a further seven song settings of Allen dating from 1918 until 1946, as well as another half a dozen with words by other poets. The manuscripts for these unpublished songs are all held at the Hocken Library in Dunedin.
Text by C.R. Allen (1885–1962)