Pukeahu Anthology

After the Movie

Bill Manhire is a New Zealand poet and fiction writer. He was Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington until his retirement in 2013. His poem ‘After the Movie’ is a strange, evocative and musical meditation on icons and iconography, including the New Zealand War Memorial Carillon. The poem appears in his collection Lifted (2005).

After the Movie

A cry comes again from the pavilion.
I was that nurse and that civilian,
I was the song in the carillon.

She sat on a tree trunk; no, a boulder.
I was the heart inside the soldier,
that broken arm — that hand, that shoulder.

Night which is moonless, melancholy.
I was the man who was extraordinary.
But who really knows the real Billy Connolly?