The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
ONLY Registered Forum Members have access to this Forum.
User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:54 pm

Well, you got all this going through TAT Poetry Magazine originally Maureen.

You blended artwork with poetry and showed how words can be brought to life through being made that bit more visually appealing. Gave me confidence to experiment.

I think that magazine drawing is an accurate representation of the surrender ceremony.

The Mayor's group are shown removing their hats as a measure of respect towards The Crown... and in due deference to Lord Roberts.

The two gentlemen in civilian dress at the rear are likely Banjo's war correspondent escort as they have not removed their hats and are standing somewhat separately, minding the rear and observing. Banjo did not have a moustache at that stage, but that may well have simply been a small artist's slip. Neat beards and moustaches were all the fashion then so including them on the blokes standing at the back would have been a minor artist's deviation... I suspect... so Banjo could be one of them.

Anyway, such details support Banjo's comment that he was right there! 120 year old evidence.

Some of the other incidents he relates in his letter show that he was certainly not afraid of putting himself in harm's way.
......................

Some poets often have only one big hit poem. Like Dorothea Mackellar. Try as one might.. and I have all her books, some even signed... I cannot find another easily read poem of hers that I would put in front of the general public. Rather than give her a small spot, I am making a huge fuss of her My Country. In a small room by itself with big projections of Australia's stunning natural beauty, etc. My Country. Hopefully then nobody will think to ask "what else did she write?" :)

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:01 pm

When purchasing the model Queenslander, the lady gave me (for free) a beautiful, heavy, solid wooden stand.. perfect for placing a poetry book on, as shown.

Plus she gave me an antique low chair that had a bit of wear damage. This wear is entirely disguised by a cover over the headrest and by putting lace around the rubbed seat-edge.

This will become Nellie Stewart's chair. Nellie had a Henry Lawson book connection (shown) but was also an important theatre figure of her day.

On the chair are vintage evening gloves and eventually a big flouncy hat, typically worn by the actress, and soon a custom evening handbag that is in keeping with her.

So much is brightened up by good props.

Doreen's beautiful handbag is nearly finished. Doreen was a girl from a different background to Nellie. If The Bloke took Doreen to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet play, it is likely they also went to a Nellie Stewart performance.

What a small world is the wonderful Bush Poetry world!?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Shelley
Posts: 1669
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 5:39 pm
Location: Maryborough, Queensland
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:36 pm

Good find, Gary!

Interestingly, regarding Dorothea Mackellar, you probably already know this information, but I discovered that one of her personal favourites among her poems was "Colour" and it was the poem read at her funeral. Unusual, you would think that would be the ideal time and place for "My Country".

Here's a link to "Colour" on the Dorothea Mackellar website: https://www.dorotheamackellar.com.au/archive/colour.htm

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:23 pm

That's good information Shelley!!

Yes, you would think that My Country, the beautiful poem that brought her such huge fame would have been the favourite. I recently spoke to a young person who knew My Country and the name Dorothea Mackellar, and yet who could not recall the name Henry Lawson.

I can only suggest that she must have been so heartily sick of My Country that it drove her madly into the arms of some other poem; one that alas is obscure today.
Perhaps one can sympathise with her?.... or perhaps not.

I would post some photos of her books, her signature etc and the display which also features Peter Luck's photobook but it is all bubble wrapped and boxed. It is about the images evoked through her skilful use of words. Australian landscapes. That dictated the highly visual final form of her exhibit.

Cheers Gary

User avatar
Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7553
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:43 pm

WOW! I had no idea I had inspired you in this Gary :o From little things big things grow.

Loving the slipper chair - I had one the same as that once, they are a lovely bedroom chair and nicely displayed with the evening gloves and the antimacassar :lol:

I knew that her poem Colour was read at her funeral, but other works from Dorothea don't appear to be thick on the ground at all.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:21 am

Yesterday I picked up a large poster-board (shown) at a garage sale for $1. It was published by the NSW Forestry Commission years ago depicting a bullock team transporting a log down to the waiting riverboat. It was one of a series.

As everyone knows, there are fabulous poems by C J Dennis (An Old Master) and Henry Lawson (The Teams) about Bullock Teams that really bring them to life.

A cloud of dust on the long, white road,
And the teams go creeping on
Inch by inch with the weary load;
And by the power of the green-hide goad
The distant goal is won.

With eyes half-shut to the blinding dust,
And necks to the yokes bent low,
The beasts are pulling as bullocks must;
And the shining tyres might almost rust
While the spokes are turning slow.

On Thursday I obtained a book entitled Bullockies for 50c at the annual Maryborough Book Sale and for some insane reason, years ago I bought a new book called The Bullock Driver's Handbook.

All this together with some other relevant old things has now inspired the concept of a permanent display about bullock teams, importantly partnered by these great ballads. History and literature working together.

Off collecting again for the exhibition! items that relate to bullock teams, when I see them.

Those tough old guys did it.... and bush poetry enshrines it.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:01 am

As always, thanks for your encouragement Maureen, and yes I am proud of what has been done to date.

This project must succeed, otherwise those many great balladists will simply vanish and that cannot be allowed to happen. It is a big responsibility to carry but no problem. I passionately love the ordinary people who help me, donate or encourage .. and where I meet obstructionists with an opposite agenda, I charge through them. :) I am not out to win popularity in this exercise, just to win the war. :)

An emerging aspect is the sheer scope. New doors are opening all the time and while it is fun and indulgent to change course and explore, without focus one can become like a rudderless ship, never arriving at the destination. You pause one thing to take up another, and so some things do not get fully completed. There is no boss to kick one's backside and say "stay focussed!" However an awareness of this helps to introduce the necessary discipline to combat it.

It is only myself and my neighbour Karen... and funding is provided entirely from my own money. e.g. one literary heritage Paterson book alone cost me thousands of dollars plus every inch of my persuasive powers to get the owner to let it go. I repatriated it and now it is where it belongs.. in Australia. But yes it all costs.

Setting aside fiction and non-fiction and silly free-verse, which are hardly unique to Australia, it is bush balladry that is the shining light in Australian Literature.

I am certain that this is the most important thing ever to be done for truly Australian Literature..... ever!

The pathways are interesting and I will do the occassional post for those devoted ABPA members who share my enthusiasm for Bush Poetry and making it entertaining and interesting, mixed with a touch of history, such that it can be brought to the people. It is a good story to follow....

Cheers, Gary

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:45 am

I talk about "Obstructionists" and so I must explain that precisely, if I may, with one example....

I do sincerely apologise for its necessary great length !

........

Two WW1 soldiers who were involved with bush ballads had low resolution photo-scans available on the Australian War Memorial website. Sadly these proved to be inadequate for my large poster presentation. The website said that high res scans were available but not on-line like the low-res ones. It stands to reason that these were likely completed at the same time as the low res ones... or not.

Oh yes I could have them, they said, but they wanted to charge me $100 each scan and I had to fill in a detailed form too. A total of $200!!!

How long does it take to scan a photo?

I explained in detail what I was doing, entirely at my own massive expense, and how by telling the detailed story of these particular WW1 soldier-poets, along with some sample quality ballads, they would be publicly immortalised and also reflect the literary ability of Australia's soldier-balladists. A very, very important thing for Australia.. and it related to war history.

"Oh No, we want your $200 first," they said.

I said "Oh no, you are government and you will email me these two scans and you will not charge me a cent". I appealed this all the way to the useless Veterans' Affairs Minister himself, out of principle.
Heaven knows the internal correpondence that must have flowed and meetings held about it. After all, if they acted properly and did not charge me, there was the danger of a dreadful Precedent! Something that could cost them who knows how much money.. and money is what they are really all about.. not the soldiers or the public.

The end result?

The Federal Minister magnanimously offered me a 25% discount to settle the matter. He would only charge me $150! Oh Joy!!!!
You can imagine what I suggested they might do with their scans and insulting "offer" ... in a polite way. :)

Examining correspondence and phone calls I concluded that the great Australian War Memorial was largely about utilising the material often gifted to them by noble donors to extort cash from ordinary people, like me. It was really all about money. We have it, you want it.. you pay, and no exceptions. Great government for the people.
The AWM actually have a commercial department and when I spoke to them, the bloke told me how noble they were in not charging the peasant-public for car-parking, when so many people these days did. I was supposed to admire that (grudging) generosity, but I could feel that he had done his sums and lamented the huge pot of cash they were foregoing. Poor bloke; he must have been so frustrated at not being able to get his hands on all that parking-money and had many sleepless nights about it. Why on earth he told me (of all people!) I do not know, but it reflected their narrow, bureaucratic stupidity.

The Outcome : I was able to digitally manipulate the low res scans to make them work adequately. So the federal government missed my $200, er $150 .. just for scanning two pics.

So you have a Noble Cause... who would dare even think of challenging The War Memorial! "You are not against our wonderful Anzacs are you? How dare you question us!" ... Those poor soldiers. The shameful Minister and his miserable minions had better be glad those great Australians are dead, otherwise they might come calling on them in a less than friendly manner .... :)

Also : it was glibly explained to me that the AWM was a not-for-profit organisation (a word that cunningly carries noble connotations) and it ".. had to cover costs", hoping that this argument would fool me.
I said quote, "No. You are Government and I already pay my taxes for you to work. You are entrusted by the people with the proper stewardship of these important items. As for the not-for-profit/covering-costs argument; how you do your accounting is your business. You are Federal government, Veterans' Affairs. No disguising that by accounting fiddles trying to put government safely at arms-length from your bad behaviour."

Pretending to be an arms-length not-for-profit cash-raising organisation with someone demanding you "cover costs" is a cunning blind, straight out of Yes, Minister.

So... they are the sort of unpleasant people I have to deal with sometimes. Minister included. The way it really is... not the propaganda and flag-waving ceremonies. The engine-room. Money, before decency and patriotism.

Perversely, my case will doubtless now be used as a defense against similar requests. "The Minister refused Mr. Harding's request, and his cause was very noble. So he could hardly make an exception of you, now could he?" Rotten stinkers. But in the end, the project has not suffered. :)

I actually have a house full of military books. I love the men of the armed forces and the brave stories they tell. If anyone comes to visit here and wants to see them... well I will have to charge I am afraid. Like The War Memorial. After all I am not really Gary Harding... I am a not-for-profit organisation and you would no doubt realise that I have to cover my costs. :)

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:22 pm

Someone who also loved The Sentimental Bloke (by C J Dennis) was the late Peter O'Shaughnessy.

His Bloke material has been gathered together and featured on this colourful display board. I hope we have paid sufficient tribute to his work.

Included is the scarce 16 2/3rpm recording!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:46 am

Taking a prominent position in the Sentimental Bloke exhibit is this dedication to John Derum and the wonderful work he did in promoting C J Dennis.

Without doubt, John is truly a remarkable Australian performer which is why this dedication was produced, involving as it did many hours of work. The beautiful gold replica AM is stunning.

Photos really do not do this item justice.

To stand in front of it is an experience in itself.

The ribbon is the same as that used on the actual awards. It contains real gold thread.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Post Reply