Discuss how the poet develops an idea throughout the poem and makes the poem interesting for the reader.
Allen Curnow portrays the thoughts of a writer trying to sleep in his poem ‘Continuum’. The narrator suggests through the poem that he views his thoughts as two different personas, his own and that of “the author”, his “cringing demiurge”. The poet’s use of imagery and diction imply this throughout the poem.
The first two lines of the poem are a metaphor, comparing the actions of the moon to that of the narrator’s: “the moon rolls over the roof and falls behind/ my house, and the moon does neither of these things”. These two lines suggest the idea of wishful thinking, thinking of acting upon something though not carrying it out. “I am talking about myself” – this statement by the narrator further implies the subject of the metaphor in the first two lines of the poem. The narrator states that “it’s not possible to get off to sleep or/ the subject or the planet, nor think thoughts”, as if rambling on, letting is thoughts trail. This gives the reader a sense of restlessness the narrator is experiencing. “Better barefoot it out the front/ door and lean from the porch across the privets/ and the palms” - it is like the narrator is thinking of what he will do. It is as if he is just letting his mind wander hoping to get to sleep. A “washed-out creation” puts forward the idea of something faded, something old; it presents an image of something that has lost its luster. The narrator talks of “two particular/ bright clouds”, even stating that one is his and “the other’s an adversary, which may depend/ on the wind, / or something”. This further implies the idea that he has let his mind drift in his effort to sleep. The poet personifies the cloud as being his “adversary”, possibly hinting at his struggle for sleep. “A long moment stretches, the next one is not/ on time” – this presents us with an impression of boredom, a sense that he is waiting...