Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

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Irene
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Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Irene » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:39 am

I was looking through an Australian Classics book - Austealian Bush Ballads - and came across a poem called 'Whalan of Waitin' A While' written by J W Gordon (Jim Grahame). I could not find any information about Jim Gordon. Does anyone have any information about him and/or any other poems by him?
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Irene
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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:42 pm

Born: 23 Oct 1874 Creswick, Victoria Died: 12 Aug 1949 Leeton, New South Wales. First published in The Bulletin, 29 June 1922

He published several books of poetry - Under wide skies, Call of the Bush, Home Leave and The Bush Mourns.

A list of his poems appear here - http://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/ ... entWorksBy
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.

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Irene
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Re: Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Irene » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:17 am

Thanks Maureen - you're better than I am. I couldn't find info on him, nor his poems!!! :cry:
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Gary Harding
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Re: Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Gary Harding » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:25 pm

Irene, for interest, there is a YouTube video of Jim Grahame put up by his relatives. Whalan of Waitin' A While was put to music, I think by Slim Dusty?? and I have it somewhere.

Jim's large book Under Wide Skies had a print run of 1000 copies all numbered and was produced by The Bread and Cheese Club and the Citizens of Leeton in 1947 and is a rare book.
I am aware of a copy on ebay some time ago selling for $205 (I was outbid by $5)

I have five copies, one of which contains an interesting historical letter relating to this book and sent to Mr Jack Moir, President of The Bread and Cheese Club at the time. Also contained is a contemporary review in Australian Books of Under Wide Skies with a fascinating insight into Jim as a person, as well as his writing. A great bloke. He was awarded a Commonwealth Literary Pension from 1947. As is well known he was a good mate of Henry Lawson.

Some years ago I was at The Nags Head Pub in Glebe Sydney having an ale at the public bar and was talking to the lovely barmaid. Not sure how the subject turned to Australian poetry but it turned out she was the Granddaughter of Jim Grahame. She knew a funny story about Henry Lawson when he came to stay with Jim in Leeton, and I think I have told it here before on another thread.

The other volume, Call of The Bush (1940) is a very slender book and I have three copies, one of which I had fully restored and leather bound as it was in a mess. It is magnificient now.

It is personally inscribed :

To nurse Harrison
Jim Grahame
Leeton Public Hospital
May 30th 1940

I was offered quite a sum of money for this book as it is very historically significant. I regard it as an Australian national literary treasure and priceless ... but that is just my own opinion.
If you want a copy though, you could pick one up for $60 - $70 around the traps. Pretty cheap really.

I am a very big fan of Jim's writing. He is one of only about half a dozen Australian Poets who I have an incredibly high regard for. I first became acquainted with him when I stumbled across his book in the Cornstalk Bookshop in Glebe Point Rd, Sydney. Loved it and bought it for $40 then.... now you would be lucky to find one anywhere.. but if you do please let me know and I would love to collect it.

I am no classical highbrow songster;
I sing my songs to the old bush hand.
The dwellers of bush camp, hut or hovel,
Wielding the axe or the pick and shovel,
By fire or hurricane-lamp they read me -
Simple rhymes of our own great land.
Those are the men that clothe and feed me;
They're the men that can understand!

J.W.G (The Men That Understand) Under Wide Skies

I hope that is interesting information for you Irene.

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Irene
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Re: Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Irene » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:20 pm

Hi Gary.
Thank you for that information - certainly very interesting!! I went and listened to the YouTube clip and enjoyed it very much.
I hadn't seen your post earlier, and hadn't been able to find info on the web (probably didn't put the right words in!!). But on Sunday, was heading back up to Geraldton for work, and decided to stop in to the Hampton Arms lodge as they have a wonderful bookshop and the owner searches for rare books.
That was when I saw your post and it was good because I was able to give him more details. He has found on copy of Call of the bush - which I have just sent an email about - but is going to keep looking for the others.
I am hoping they still have the book available.
Thanks heaps for the info.
Catchya
Irene
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Gary Harding
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Re: Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Gary Harding » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:03 am

It was indeed my pleasure Irene.

I apologize for not scanning one of Jim Grahame's books and I have now done so.
I have also delved into my document archives and scanned the front page of a fascinating lengthy eight page article in Australian Books about Jim.
Here are couple of tributes extracted from this excellent and insightful article.

"Few of our Bush Minstrels have had so extensive a field of personal observation and experience that gives veracity to the literary landscape of Jim Grahame, or the background that inspires the clarity of his words."
"Artless and untutored in any sophistications, as one of nature's gentlemen he is hailed as a friend by every man woman and child he meets. He holds their gaze and can discern their real worth. Most he recognizes as unselfish as himself."

So there you have it... Jim Grahame.. a giant in Australian Traditional Poetry and a highly respected, popular and admired man as well.
Good luck in your procurement exercise.

I follow your search with interest and trust you have success.

If I may say one thing, never be backward in making a reasonable offer to a bookseller if you think that their price is too high. Their job is to move stock, turn it over and make money which is fair enough. In my experience they are mostly great blokes! They.. deal. I collect. We help each other! Having said that.. I never pay too much!! whatever TOO MUCH is :)

The other day I was pleased to procure an important "bush poetry related" historic document for $5 that I was prepared to pay up to $80 for! so you can be lucky. cheers, Gary
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Gary Harding
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Re: Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Gary Harding » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:41 am

I know I have been very enthusiastic about Jim Grahame's bush poetry, and with good reason.

Had I never connected with Jim by chance in the Cornstalk Bookshop in Glebe, I would sadly still be in the dark about Jim today... like most folk probably are.

That is what comes from fossicking in musty second-hand bookshops I guess. One finds things.

Everyone has heard of Henry Kendall, Adam Lindsay Gordon and others... "names" if you like. But Jim leaves all them for dead, I believe.

Anyway..... here is a new Great Book!

"MATES : The friendship that sustained Henry Lawson"
"This well-written book is a dual biography of two prominent Australian poets: Henry Lawson and his best friend Jim Grahame (Jim Gordon). Lawson believed that Grahame's writing was far superior to his own."

What an endorsement!

ISBN: 9781742578873 Pages: 400
Author: Gregory Bryan
Year: 2016
Publisher: New Holland Publishers

So for an illuminating understanding of the wonderful friendship between these two great poets, Henry and Jim, I can recommend this volume.

As I say if you ever stumble across a copy of Under Wide Skies... open the piggy-bank and buy it ; if you love bush poetry that is. You will not be disappointed.

I thoroughly enjoy good traditional Australian poetry. Lots of talent still around today with ABPA member poetry! especially the famous and incredibly outstanding Female Writers... so plenty of verse to enjoy.

cheers, Gary
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Shelley Hansen
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Re: Looking for information and other poetry by J W Gordon

Post by Shelley Hansen » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:25 pm

Looks like a fascinating book, Gary. I'll definitely have to check out the poetry of Jim Grahame!

Cheers
Shelley
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http://www.shelleyhansen.com

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fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
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