Eileen Duggan


My quiet morning hill
Stands like an altar drawn
Whereon hushed hands shall lay
The shining pyx of dawn.

With penitence and stir,
And drowsy flurry by,
The wind, a shamefaced serving-boy
Comes running up the sky.
'The Acolyte' in Selected Poems: Eileen Duggan (ed Peter Whiteford), Victoria University Press, 1994

Eileen Duggan

Eileen Duggan earned her living writing poetry, essays and reviews, and as a journalist. Her volumes of poetry sold well and were widely admired. For a time, she was New Zealand’s best-known poet, internationally.

Duggan was noted for her lyricism, but as this style went out of favour her popularity declined. However, she pursued her own path, with her Catholic faith a vital part of her life and her post-war poems continue to resonate as expressions of moral and religious experience.


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