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9619.3

R259s




CORALIE+CLARKE+REES




THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



SILENT HIS WINGS



SILENT HIS WINGS



by

CORALIE CLARKE REES



'What is precious is never to forget . . ."

— Stephen Spender.



AUSTRALASIAN PUBLISHING CO. PTY. LTD.

SYDNEY. N.S.W.



REGISTERED AT THE GENERAL POST
OFFICE, SYDNEY, FOR TRANSMISSION
THROUGH THE POST AS A BOOK



Copyright. All rights reserved.



Wholly set up and printed in Australia by
Holland (3 Stephenson Pty. Ltd., Meagher St., Sydney






To Max

(Maxwell John Clarke)

RA.A.F.

And to all the silent company oi fine youn^

airmen whose wings have been

furled hy war



"ip;



INTRODUCTION

To honour her airman brother, sepulchred in distant snows,
Coralie Clarke Rees has here written a moving elegy. Through
her warm portraiture he glows with life again, recreated lovingly.

Idiom and imagery flower colloquially, not as a modernist form,
but simply as a natural self-expression. The realistic treatment
attests the sincerity which makes the varying moods of grief,
protest, and remembrance deepen into passages of forceful poetry.
Always the utterance is most stirring when most personal.

The poem is more, however, than a cry achieving poignance.
It also reaches out, in the old elegiac tradition, to some mode of
life redeeming the sacrifice of youth, transcending the brute fact
of the grave. 'The true disciple of philosophy," said Socrates,
"is ever pursuing death and dying" ; so death in turn begets the
philosopher. Here Coralie Clarke Rees answers death, not by a
Christian immortality or the pantheism of an Adonais, but by a
social reference characteristic of our socialistic age. If the verse
inevitably loses intensity by this difficult theme— difficult to
transmute into poetry— it gains in pragmatic scope. Attacking the
apathy of the common people as a root cause of war, she calls
with crusading impulse for action in the "fight for everlasting
Peace."

Thus the dirge broadens out into a dedication, affirming the
dead as

"the living^ spirit that blows

meaning and purpose and hope through our veins."



Beginning strongly, the elegy ends bravely,
Canberra UmVersity College.



/'. £-6- M^



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