Glover, Denis


Denis James Matthews Glover


20th Century NZ poet, journalist, printer, typographer, publisher and naval officer


9 December, 1912. Dunedin, NZ


9 August 1980, Wellington, NZ

Lieutenant Commander Denis James Matthews Glover (9 December 1912 - 9 August 1980) was a New Zealand poet and publisher.

General biographyEdit

Well known for radical leftist opinions, he was often in trouble with authorities. In 1935 he founded the Caxton Press, which he used to encourage a less sentimental style of poetry in New Zealand than was being published prior to this time. His work at the Press was interrupted by service in the Navy in World War II, in which he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and received a Distinguished Service Cross for bravery.

Literary WorksEdit

His best-known works are the "Sings Harry" sequence, "Arawata Bill", and "The Magpies". The refrain of the latter ("Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle", imitating the sound of the magpies in New Zealand) is one of the most famous lines in New Zealand poetry.

Responses to his life and worksEdit

Playwright Roger Hall wrote a play called Mr Punch about Glover's life. New Zealand Composer Douglas Lilburn set some of his poems to music, and later used a theme from his setting of "Sings Harry" in his Third Symphony.

External linksEdit