The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
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Gary Harding
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:12 am

I hope this continuing bush poetry story is interesting for readers......

The Spoken Word.

Leonard Teale produced one-man shows where he portrayed Henry Lawson.

I recall going to one show in the La Mama theatre in Melbourne. (burnt down in 2018). Len's show naturally contained a number of recitations. He must have had lots of devoted Lawson fans in the audience because you could hear a murmur of voices speaking along with him when he performed the poems.

I could have listened to him recite for hours and the show was all too short.

Here is a 1978 souvenir program from my Leonard Teale Collection. It is quite large being A4 size and multi-page.

As most people know, Len was great.

What a massive contributor to the world of bush balladry. He is The Master of the Spoken Word.
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Shelley
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:03 pm

I agree Gary, Leonard Teale was a master performer and reciter.

Another great piece of history for your collection. Keep 'em coming ...
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")

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Gary Harding
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:18 am

Thanks Shelley!!! I will try and get a couple of posts in before the New Year.

Major things are happening with the extensive Cultural Centre. The preliminary building drawings, including 3D renders, have been received. In a way it is a Bush Poet's Hall of Fame... but also far more than that.

In support of the Old Bush School display (relating to bush ballads), I have a set of 14 old Imperial dry glass plates from the 1890's (date to be confirmed) of an Australian school. 14cm x 11cm.

Photos include images depicting school children, their classroom and work, the teachers and an exterior shot of the school house.
Imperial glass plates were the forerunner of celluloid, being used around 1890 - 1910. The images are sharp and while low-res pictures can be dragged off the computer, you need to have the originals like this in order to get quality, especially for enlarging.

This particular Old Australian School set is truly lovely.. and very, very historic!!

I am thrilled to have it in the collection.

They are in negative. I will eventually get around to converting them all properly where I can use my light-box and photograph them, then apply software to invert.
Alternatively I can use my Canoscan 8400F specialised transparency scanner which will do the job, provided I make a mounting template/mask to suit the size.

Photos here show an original plate, then same image inverted with software to reveal after 120 years... barefoot school-kids!

Nitrile gloves should be worn when handling plates, not bare fingers like this! and always, like lp records, hold by the edges... so please ignore this poor handling.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Dec 25, 2019 9:26 am

There are quite a number of aspects of old Australian life worth enshrining.

They complement the wonderful and extensive main theme of Bush Poetry... some thirty-eight, highly skilled bush balladists.

This unique and rapidly expanding Centre has been named in honour of Banjo himself.

The Banjo Paterson Cultural Centre

It has been planned to include cafe, conference room and other specialist facilities. Australian Music will have a place.

Anyway, back on the subject of Australian cuisine.... ABPA members may or may not be too young to remember the Semak Vitamizer!?
The sturdy forerunner of blenders and food processors.

It was the Hills Hoist of the Australian kitchen. (If anyone has a spare original Hills Hoist we can use that too).

Here from my collection are several Vitamizer models... complete with recipe books.

My Mum had her special recipe that used silver beet, carrot, steak and potato. A quick whiz in the Vitamizer and out came a thick green nutritious mass. A liberal application of Heinz tomato sauce and... a gourmet dish!
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:41 am

Another old glass slide photographed and inverted to reveal its contents after 120 years.

The photo is a bit rough.... being put on the light box and photographed with the phone-cam. That is why there is a white wash across the pic and it is not that sharp. It will be done properly later on.

THE OLD BUSH SCHOOL (John O'Brien)

Still the scholars pass before me with their freckled features grave,
And a nickname fitting better than the name their mothers gave;
Tousled hair and vacant faces and their garments every one
Shabby heirlooms in the family, handed down from sire to son.


I think this classic photo truly reflects John O'Brien's description of the pupils... and will look great when enlarged and displayed.

However I suspect that the kids have been told to put on their best clothes for that day because a class photo is being taken.

I look forward to going through the rest of the slides and seeing what they really contain.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:11 pm

Great piece of history!

We recently had the pleasure of spending a day at the Crows Nest Museum. For historical display in an ordered fashion, with just enough (but not too much) information, and sheer atmosphere, it is one of the best museums we've ever seen ... and we've seen lots!!

There was a mock up of a classroom complete with mannequins, props etc. Very atmospheric!

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")

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Gary Harding
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:36 am

Thanks for your comments Shelley.

I think that it all comes back to remembering what this proposed Centre is about. I have been reprimanded over this recently. Focus.

Spending too much time on unrelated things like the cultural aspects of uniquely Australian bush music.. which is fun but just not a priority at present.

So many cultural subjects and interesting side-branches are presenting. These often intersect with the ballads.

UPDATE :

In order to make The Banjo Paterson Cultural Centre appealing to the public we are diversifying in a limited way. The truth is that if it was all about bush poetry people would say "Oh, poetry is not my thing". If you broaden that to "culture" and provide for that too a bit, then as everyone fancies themselves as a connoisseur of culture, they will come through the door. It is Marketing as well. In the end you have to cater for everyone and give value for money. A balance. I go to the supermarket and look around to see the folk I am attempting to entertain. Very grounding.

There are big challenges. Australia's great education system means that typically the 18 - 30 age group have never heard of Lawson, let alone C J Dennis. When they come here and view a small over-crowded disorganised display (only storage) of some poets they are polite, and then proceed to spend 30mins poring over the Queenslander replica! Sheeesh! Different with older people luckily.

What we basically have is material that requires the effort of reading to appreciate and enjoy. So we try and display material in a way that encourages people to read it. Make it entertaining and fun. Intersperse it with videos, curios and rare stuff. So that you never know what is next in line to see.
Only yesterday I was sitting down with my neighbour and curator Karen and we were discussing it all. Our Exhibition is different and unique.
Museums and libraries (usually) present material in a way that is sterile/uninspiring. Usually poorly labelled if at all. They often employ staff who do it because they are paid to and have to, whereas we do it because we want to. This shows in the comparative Feel of the presentations. There is love and care here.

There is a commonness about museums/libraries etc. It is as if people were afraid to step away from the standard way of doing things. As if staff feel their job is at risk if they do not Conform. Also in constructing Centres/Museums in Australia (and there are several cases), it is now always about the architecture first .."look how clever and unique this building is".... and far less about the content. Look at our impressive foyer. That fools some people, but luckily not all. Make a landmark, for sure.. nice foyer... but it is about content first, not cleverness.

The Banjo Paterson Cultural Centre will not be a museum.. or just another same-ish heritage village!!!

Neither are we about Art or silly boards with silly stuff on them about how wonderful Australia is. Also I never use the popular and dreadfully intrusive and presumptuous words "We" or "Our" on a label. It is always politely "Australia's.."

This proposed Centre is predominantly about real Australian Literature. Banjo and all his wonderful balladist friends.

Shelley, I have also seen recreated classrooms and yes they certainly are done well ! (like Hervey Bay's)

However I am happy to leave that to the experts at doing such things. What little we have augments the Poems about bush schools. The Poems are the theme and not the classroom itself... which is good because I would hate to try and recreate an old classroom again!

The Bloke/Doreen mannequin's costumes will be finished end-February. good fun! Gary

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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:07 am

This presentation is intended to be a framed wall-mounted item and the stand is just to hold it for this informal photo taken during a work session.

Interestingly on the reverse of this original magazine page (mounted on the board) is a photo showing the Boer War victory parade through the town of Bloemfontein.

Lord Roberts is at the head, with the international correspondents following in their parade-order further down the ranks. Banjo is there, his particular mounted group can be seen, but Banjo himself cannot be picked out.

I should say that although this proposed Cultural Centre is named in Banjo's honour and there is naturally a respectfully sizeable exhibit relating to him, it is about all the excellent bush poets or balladists.

The Banjo Paterson Cultural Centre will cement a permanent place for the early bush balladists and their writing in the hearts and minds of the Australian people. It will bring to the nation Australia's true literary heritage and cultural history in order to create an enduring legacy as never before.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:23 pm

Hi Shelley,
We finally got back to doing more work on John's presentation which I think is pretty much finished now.

I have mocked-up how the four completed boards will look together when mounted on a dark wall, using photos on a dark background.
In front of this wall will be a shelf or cabinet containing the rest of the material, hard mounted (as shown).

Real life is ten times better than photos in this case though! All gaps and mountings are square and true, and any uneveness is camera-angle distortion.

Most of this comprehensive newspaper and promotional material originated from John or from Barry Watts (compiler of The World Of The Sentimental Bloke).

The Sentimental Bloke dedicated display, including John Derum's feature, is quite extensive and varied.

And that does not include the comprehensive section on C J Dennis himself (completed).

I will post this here because I know you enjoy C J Dennis.
I trust other members, like yourself, also appreciate seeing this interesting bush poetry story as it progresses.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:33 pm

In the process of gathering material for the Nellie Stewart display (she was a famous singer and also a Henry Lawson admirer) I have been putting together a group of old Nellie Stewart postcards. Being very popular, she appeared on many cards. Postcards can sometimes give a snapshot of their time period and will be presented with their interesting transcriptions.

This is one dated 1908. I have only been partially able to transcribe it and I would really appreciate some help. (Click on it to view) Because my own writing is so bad, I can usually understand the scrawled writing of others too... but in this case, not so.
It also has a nice rhyming verse from Ella Wheeler Wilcox on the front.

I can make out....
Crows Nest
"Dear ?? (Clunies?)
This time last Sunday I was in lonely old Tenterfield and today in Crows Nest.
My ? place has altered since I was here last and the children are getting so big
??????????????
love from all, "

Addressee :
Mr ?? Collins
"?? Court" (?)
Pelham Street
Tenterfield

It is a bit of a puzzle, but for anyone who is able to have a go and solve it? that would be greatly appreciated. Gary
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