As their freinds leave for Europe and the government gets tough with the unions, a bohemian community is enjoying the euphoria of youth. It was their dreamtime. The wider world beckoned from the white ships sailing past Rangitoto Island, but the dream was also here on the Takapuna shoreline of Auckland, where the artist Melior Farbro grew his vegetables and let Cecilia Skyways follow her own form of Zen Buddhism in his garden hut. Where Curl Skidmore, his brilliant young head full of novels waiting to be unravelled, could dream of God, Fame, Nirvana, Great Love, or maybe just sex. Where not even the harbourfront strike of 1951 could convince them that life wasn't about poetry and painting and potential.
C. K Stead was Professor of English at the University of Auckland until 1986. He is known to students of literature as the author of The New Poetic, a study of Yeats, Eliot and the Georgian poets. He is the only New Zealand writer to have won the New Zealand Book Award for both poetry and fiction, which latter he has won twice for All Vistiors Ashore and The Singing Whakapapa. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 1984 he was awarded the C.B.E. for services to New Zealand Literature.
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