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 Jan 26, 2020 7:13 am

A very good friend of mine who also appreciates this sort of material has donated an original Court Document, signed by Banjo when he was a magistrate.

It is a Court Summons for Edward _ of Binalong to appear to answer information that he did "use profane language in a public place. That is to say "by Christ you will have it". "

Given under my Hand and Seal, this 13th day of September in the Year of Our Lord, One thousand eight hundred and... in the said colony at Binalong.
(signed) A B Paterson JP (Magistrates Seal)

What a fabulous document.

We have the task of presenting it beautifully for posterity... developing a story. Surrounding it with a bit of history... and adding a touch of humour too perhaps.

It seems likely that this serious offender appeared later before Banjo so I wonder how much (or if) Banjo fined him for using profane language by saying "by Christ you will have it" in public? :)

Attached photo shows the Binalong Courthouse, built 1883. A place Banjo would have been very familiar with.

Karen, my curator, recently remarked "Some of our displays are quite breathtaking. I can’t imagine that people won’t take some new-found knowledge away with them when they leave. It will be very informative but because it will be so interesting and entertaining, they won’t even realise that they are learning and discovering new things! It will almost certainly be a tour of discovery for many visitors. If that is the case then we have achieved our objective.
Of course our biggest objective is that visitors leave with a new-found appreciation for the poetic works of the great balladists. I can’t think of a better way to present them, all bundled in with their support act — our other displays of interest."

Fair enough... I have to agree.

Working to take the absolute best of Australian Literature out of the dark and into the light.... and actually bringing it to the people for the very first time. Celebrating the work of all the wonderful bush balladists.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:03 am

Isn't it remarkable how one thing can lead to another?

The Collected Verse book in my possession signed by Banjo on 30th November 1931 (previously shown) for his first cousin Nathaniel Dunbar Barton and subsequently inscribed to his own son Arthur, led us to investigate Nathaniel and especially his connection with Banjo.

Nat was in the 7th Light Horse and had a distinguished military career. I have previously shown the medal display for Nat that we produced.
Incidentally, Banjo's medals and awards have also been similarly presented... and contain some big surprises!

A while ago we established contact with the present-day Barton side (mother's side) of Banjo's family, and they have been extremely helpful to us!
My grandfather John served in the 2nd Field Ambulance on Gallipoli. Bullets regularly passed through their hospital tents.

The attached item from the proposed Banjo Paterson Cultural Centre exhibit tells its own story. Banjo's section is just a part of the overall poetic exhibition... dedicated to the many old bush balladists. However, I do enjoy highlighting his material. :)

(Click on the attached picture to view it).

I trust these little stories are of some interest to ABPA members ....
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:02 am

Being fellow Bush Poetry enthusiasts, I feel sure that most readers here will likely know that the subject of Bullockies was a popular one for the old balladists. The exhibit on this subject is progressing nicely.

I selected six good bullocky-ballads and then Karen did the excellent artwork for each so that they form a set.

These poems have now been printed on rigid boards that stand more than one metre high. (see photo)

They also demonstrate how the early bush ballads have contributed to preserving Australia's history.

Isn't that fantastic?!!

The Teams
Song of the Old Bullock Driver
Bullocky Bill
Black Harry's Team
The Champion Bullocky
An Old Master


Will any visitors read them? Who knows.... but they associate Bush Poetry with Bullock Driving and complement the static and video displays of bullock yoke, teams etc.

The next step is to bond them to sturdy, fabric-covered, oversize backing-boards. They will look much better, be made durable and able to be wall mounted too.

The material cost alone to produce these poster-boards is nearly $700, without the many hours spent in prep and layout. So it is no small exercise.

The right fabric has been identified at Spotlight and when it comes on special, I will get it. :)
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:16 pm

Good work Gary - looks like it is all coming along nicely!
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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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:31 pm

Thanks Shelley.
The proposed Banjo Paterson Cultural Centre is moving ahead at an increasing pace.
With building concept drawings done and sufficient displays completed to demonstrate credibility, we now move on to the publicity stage.

Watch upcoming editions of Fraser Coast Beacon Magazine (mid-March onward).. which should leverage us into the large circulation media. We will then build upon that consequent higher-profile for the next stage. Partnering.

It's good to have some feedback from talented poets such as yourself. That you take the time to comment. I often look in on the Homework forum and see the work done by the well-known skilled poets there.

It takes me days to write a few lines and yet in this section, top writers turn out material so smoothly and rapidly!! It must come naturally to them whereas I have to struggle to do anything.

All on track for great project success. I am sure all the old bush poets would be delighted and I often feel their encouraging and guiding spirits at my side (truly!!) as we press on alone and with determination, letting nothing or nobody hinder us. :)
Gary

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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:07 pm

Here is another example of the many hidden Australian treasures buried on national library shelves and kept well away from the public .... but not for much longer!

C. H. Winter ("Riverina") 1929 The Story of "BidgeeQueen and Other Verses" Book is in excellent condition. Soft cover.

Most of his ballads as gathered in this book, appeared in The Bulletin.

This one is a short, fun and clever poem. I find that reading through twice gives the feel of it properly.

I hope other members agree with me... that he is a very talented bush poet, well deserving of a place in the upcoming hall of fame. We will certainly be celebrating him.


A BUSH PROPOSAL (page 38)

They sat an hour together, upon a fallen tree;
They spoke about the weather and they both spoke timidly.
They talked about the season; the prospect of a drought;
Though Bill had something else to say - he couldn't speak it out.

Time after time he struggled, to bring his courage up.
He even took her hand and murmured of... his cattle pup!
She listened to his stories, then turned to him to say;
"It must be time to say good-night - tomorrow's washing-day."

Here was his chance for asking this girl to be his wife!
He whispered to her: "Mary, will you wash my clothes - fer life?"
Upon the bushman's shoulder she shyly leaned her head
And clung to him - "Oh! Billy, ain't this sudden, dear?" she said.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:58 am

Oh wow, Gary! Just love the poem! I have never heard of this poet. How good that you are planning to feature his work.

In an earlier post you commented on the apparent ease with which some of us writers produce our homework in the Writing Workshop on this Forum. Don’t be fooled (at least not by my contributions)! Mine certainly don’t come with ease! I write down the prompts, leave them visible on my desk, and cogitate ... sometimes for a week or more, before I come up with anything sensible. Sometimes I simply don’t get anything worth submitting.

However I do try to participate, to support Maureen’s tireless efforts and also because the prompts lead me to write pieces on subjects that may not otherwise have crossed my orbit. On a number of occasions they have been the start of poems that later won me prizes. The Writing Workshop is a very worthwhile endeavour.

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 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:39 pm

Thanks Shelley. Yourself and Rod .. and everyone as always are welcome to call in any time you are in HB to see progress and have a tea or coffee!


The Bullocky poster-set (6) is complete and the bush ballads look terrific. It is very moving to read them.

The poster-boards are mounted on 9mm mdf craft board, 1.2m high. We decided to try a surface covering of timber-planking vinyl giving a rustic look while being sharp and clean at the same time.

This has proved to be a significant improvement over the initial fabric-covering concept as it also lends atmosphere I think.
They are large and fairly heavy items.

When seen together on a wall, or in two sets of three, they will look very impressive.

A big job but worthwhile.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:11 am

1. I was hunting around garage sales and bought a replica fold-down writing desk ($40) plus desk bench-mirror ($10) .. both will be useful for displaying some items in the Paterson Centre.

As C J Dennis had a roll-top desk (the original now in the hands of Kerry Stokes), this might be either Banjo or John O'Brien's replica desk?.. or just something to display open picture-books etc?

The seller was a gnarled old guy.. a "bushie" type.. or at least my impression of what one might be. I mentioned what I was doing, not expecting much reaction other than a polite acknowledgement.

Well !!!... some time later, when I could manage to get away, he had told me how he liked Paterson, but Lawson was his favourite... "Lawson, now there's a man....!" .. and he proceeded to tell me about his passion for Henry, his books etc.
It was a real buzz. More than that!

2. Many years ago I swapped a book for a CD with Keith McKenry. Keith has had a very long involvement with Australian folk music, and has done many things in the bush/folk area.

A real character and performance poet. He is also listed as being a past Assistant Commissioner of Taxation, but I will not hold that against him. He was in the Monash Bushwalking Club at the same time as I was... but he was "a heavy" in the club then. Going through my files yesterday I came across an old letter from him wherein he suggested that I might publicise/review this 24-track CD. Then I could do nothing to help... but to square the books and with some reader indulgence, I might just mention it now so that other members who enjoy bush poetry recitations with a bit of folk music will be aware of it. I especially like the late Alan Scott doing Patsy Fagan... and Keith's performance of Theatre of the Road. (Rob Charleton).

Sorry for the slight delay Keith.. decades late... but finally done mate!
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:32 pm

Desk certainly looks authentic, Gary - for me it says "Banjo" - you know, "sitting in my dingy little office". It has the look of "accountant" about it to me, definitely the domain of the "cashbook and journal". I reckon Henry was more of a "scribble as you go" man!

I remember seeing a quote from Banjo to the effect that when he saw that the waste paper basket was brimming with spoiled attempts, he reckoned the lines he had on paper were about as good as they were going to get! (So based on that, it appears he definitely wrote in a more "formal" setting).

I see with interest that the Keith McKenry CD is available on ebay.com.au for prices starting at $14.99.

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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