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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:49 pm
by Shelley
That's an interesting piece of history that has passed me by, Gary. I've never heard of a "Nellie Stewart Bangle". Thanks for sharing.

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:57 pm
by Gary Harding
Thanks Shelley.Yes, the bangle is intriguing.

As you can see from the article, it wasn't really buried with her as she was cremated at Rookwood but it makes a good story. It would have been worth a lot today. It was supposedly destroyed in a later disasterous fire at the Isle of Man.... but ...

It is her admiration for Henry Lawson that I think is captivating.

The 1910 book of Lawson's poems connects them. (he wrote it, she inscribed it)

One interesting thing I do have is a nice set of very old opera glasses in an old leather case. (they still work)
Now.. inside this case was discovered a theatre ticket stub (Dress Circle) for a Nellie Stewart performance dated 29th Sept 1899. As the stub was not removed, obviously slipped into the case when the patron sat down to watch the show, it suggests that (possibly) it was the last time these opera glasses were used... at Nellie's show in 1899!!

So you can see how I can develop quite an interesting story, complete with valuable memorabilia. It adds another dimension to Bush Poetry.

I saw Nellie's autograph priced on-line at $130 so all this material together must have significant value!

I will post something when it is all completed.

"The Opera Singer and The Poet" is the title.

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 6:35 am
by Gary Harding
Yes Shelley, bush poetry history is interesting.

Possessing material is easy. Preparing it for permanent exhibition is the enormously time and resource consuming part! It is a full time occupation for me.

C J Dennis is of course a huge favourite of many Bush Poetry enthusiasts.. and a very interesting chap too.

"Den and The Bridge."

For example.... Den was commissioned by Berger Paints to write a poem about the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was opened in March 1932.
Den contrived to set a scene where The Bloke was sitting on "ole Dame Macquarie's chair" having a chat to Arthur Phillip, overlooking the harbour.
I think it represented the old (Arthur Phillip) and the current day (The Bloke) and Progress, as evidenced in the engineering marvel of the Bridge.

The result was this 4 page pamphlet entitled I Dips Me Lid To The Sydney Harbour Bridge. A touching poem.

A copy of this scarce pamphlet recently sold at auction in Sydney for $720. (A bit over-priced in my view.)

The attached photo is of this pamphlet... a copy of which is held in my Collection and is luckily in near perfect condition.

Complementing it is this 1932 souvenir letterette also from my Collection, posted on the bridge April 2nd 1932 during the opening celebrations. It is postmarked South-east Pylon and addressed to Master Alfred Wass who I have partially traced. There is a Harbour Bridge Museum that really chases this sort of fascinating historic stuff, not to mention devoted Bridge Memorabilia Collectors. The letter itself is valued in the hundreds of dollars.

Enjoy reading this poetic rarity!

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:40 am
by Gary Harding
C J Dennis and the Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

One of the truly magnificent achievements in the area of the Spoken Word in Bush Poetry was the work done by John Derum. His promotion of the work of C J Dennis.

Here is a fascinating item from my collection.

An original script (one of seven) of More Than A Sentimental Bloke which was premiered at the Sydney Festival in 1980. As can be seen, it is inscribed by John himself to Mr. Barry Watts. Barry compiled the beautiful book The World Of The Sentimental Bloke. I have original theatre tickets, programs and a huge amount of other associated material and memorabilia about it, but this is my favourite item.

I am very happy to share it here with fellow ABPA Bush Poetry enthusiasts.

It's surprising (and disturbing) how few people today have even heard of C J Dennis. In the youtube video, John asks some locals at the bar what they know of him.

Isn't it a sorry situation for Australians and Australian Literature....and I believe that reflects very poorly on the diligence of public servants who staff so-called Arts and Education Departments.

It is a situation that I am in the process of actively correcting.

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 3:58 pm
by Shelley
Thanks Gary. It's no secret that CJD is my favourite classic Aussie poet. His work is so diverse!

I have another snippet to add to the Sydney Harbour Bridge story. In that poem Den coined the phrase "keeps on keeping on". That slogan is still part of Berger Paints registered trademark. I wonder how many people realise it comes from Den's pen?


Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:55 am
by Gary Harding
Just an update on the Nellie Stewart - Henry Lawson story

This Lawson book (In The Days When The World Was Wide, 1910), inscribed by Nellie, was auctioned on the date of the inscription in 1910 in Sydney. They call such books Association copies. (.. because there is an association with the author, or some famous person, I gather)

There was standing room only at this Charity Performance where Nellie donated this special item.. something close to her heart.

also....some quick no-frills work-in-progress photos of parts of this developing Lawson-Stewart display.

1. The original (donated by Nellie) Lawson book, together with explanatory card. She was very literate having written her own Life Story in flowery language, and so was unsurprisingly a Henry Lawson admirer.

2. The opera glasses with case that had the theatre ticket-stub inside. The Ticket is dated 29th Sept 1899. Nellie was viewed through these opera glasses 120 years ago in England. Holy cow!!

3. The "Nellie Stewart" Bangle story, complete with replica..

My sincere thanks to my neighbour Karen who enjoys doing this incredible presentation work with me, and to whom I am apprenticed but I fear with few prospects of progressing my meagre craft skills.

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:49 am
by Gary Harding
Alice Guerin Crist's book was entitled "When Rody Came To Ironbark"

She was much admired and was awarded two medals. They are shown in the attached photograph.
These medals that I have purchased in replica, are set on a white satin, highlighted with cord, opposite her biography. It is part of a much larger exhibit of her work.

"We have scrubbed and scoured and polished till she's looking just like new,
And the good old engine's singing and our hearts are singing too.
While the magpies pipe a chorus and the air's like sparkling fizz,
And we're going to the races in the Old Tin Liz."

... from her classic ballad. Great for reciting.

Perhaps it is a bit reminiscent of John O'Brien's Ten-Twelve Shebang.....?

"She's noisy in the timin', and she's wobbly in the wings
She's got a knock in every joint and songbirds in the springs."

"She never had no side-doors and she never had no screen
Such things were not invented when they built that old machine."

Alice's married name was Christ. However, being very involved with the church, she changed her name to Crist. Fair enough I guess. It would certainly help to avoid confusion.

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:46 pm
by Shelley
Thanks for another fascinating snippet, Gary. I will have to investigate Alice - she is not familiar to me.

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:11 am
by Gary Harding
No worries Shelley.
Here is something I trust you may also find interesting .. ?

This wall-hanging, 1.0m x 1.5m quilt features the complete poem "The Man From Snowy River" by A. B. Paterson
The texts and motifs are machine embroidered (not printed). A fair bit of work.

It was presented to me by The Hervey Bay Quilters Group who also love Banjo, and it will of course eventually be placed on public display. I might leave it as a large file if that is OK or the important detail becomes lost.

It was a real surprise to receive it. When local people here find out what I am undertaking, they cannot do enough to help. My next door neighbour who collects antiques recently gave me an antique slate and slate-pencil to go with my very old school desk! This desk is being used to highlight all the quality ballads written about The Old Bush School. (Lawson, O'Brien, Furphy etc..)

It is very touching.

This quilt is a real treasure! .. and another Paterson one is in progress too. It is a gigantic, UNIQUE, and colourful quilt that shows the swagman camped by the billabong in Waltzing Matilda. (Banjo wrote the words). I am proud to say that it will be our own special showpiece; something we thought up and can identify with.. Banjo at his artistic best!

Love it! :) People are so kind!

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:23 pm
by Maureen K Clifford
Like Shelley this story was unknown to me also but WOW - so interesting and what wonderful research you have put into finding the facts and piecing together the story. As for that quilt I am speechless - so many hours of work put into that. A treasure beyond price Gary. It would be lovely to be able to find a permanent place to display all of the hard work you have put into these projects. I know here at Ipswich our Art Gallery periodically puts on displays such as this (well we did when we had a working council) - I wonder whether anything similar might be available in Canberra for a permanent display? Certainly seems to me that some illustrious group out there would be extremely chuffed to share it.