Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Songs of the BushSongs of the Bush

Australian bush poetry is currently undergoing a genuine resurgence in popularity, however the roots of this rebirth are sunk deep within our national psyche.

Story Andrew Hull Photos Darren Clarke

Australians have always identified closely to their stories, legends, myth and lore and these regularly take the form of poetry and song. It is difficult to accurately distinguish the 'father' of Australian poetry, and there are invariably differences in opinion. Of the notable poets, Charles Harpur is thought to be the first born (1813) however, it is perhaps his contemporaries Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833) and Charles Kendall (1841), who had a significant impact on the literary world of the 1800s. Adam Lindsay Gordon drew a large part of his inspiration from the landscape and traditions of the country, and in 'Poets Corner' in Westminster Abbey, it is noteworthy that he is the only Australian poet to warrant representation.

Songs of the BushHenry Kendall is important for a different reason.

In the world of Australian poetry, however, there are two figures that stand tall above the rest and it is these two poets, through the quality and popularity of their work, who really gave a name to Australian Poetry, and through their subject matter, gave the Australian bush a true voice. These are, of course, Andrew Barton ('Banjo') Paterson and Henry Lawson. Story end

Full story Issue 33 Feb/Mar 2004

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