THE COMPLETE BOOK OF AUSTRALIAN VERSE book cover   The Complete Book of Australian Verse
John Clarke

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Possibly the most important anthology ever published. In a single illustrated edition, the History of English Literature is enhanced by the revelation that a number of the world's greatest poets were in fact Australians.

"The names will be familiar: Herrick, Black, Burns, Leigh Hunt, Keats, Fifteen Bobsworth Longfellow, Ted Lear, william McGonigall, Emmy-Lou Dickinson, W.B. Yeats. Jems Choice, R.A.C.V. Milne, Kahlihliji Bran, Pinko Brooke, Marianne More, T.S. Eliot, b.b. hummings, Ogden Gnash, Sir Don Betjeman, Stewie Smith, W.H. Auding, Dylan Thompson, Sylvia Blath, and others. Original works have been located and biographical details recorded. The jigsaw is complete.

"Australia's rich poetic heritage is now available to the world in one elegant volume."

About the Author:
John Clarke, anthologist, completed his Ph.D. at Leipzig in 1963. He was Professor of Comparative Relevance at Princeton until 1983, when he took up an appointment as Reader in Extremis at Melbourne University. Since 1988 he has alternated between the Dept. of Negative Gearing at the Bond University in Queensland (inquiries welcome) and his research project in agarian reform. He has several hobbies, about which he prefers not to give details. Publications include Cuba Now: A Retrospective (1972), The Letters of Ian Hemple (1978), Both New Zealand Poets (1981), Salination in the Wimmera (1984), and Australian Monetarist Poetry (1987).


BOB HERRICK: "Upon Julia's Speedos"
BILL BLAKE: "The Work of Harmony"
RABBI BURNS: "To A Howard"
ARNOLD WORDSWORTH: "Lines Composed About Half-way"
     "Across the Pyrmont Bridge"
THOMAS WOLFE: "The Burial of Surgeon Moore at Narrunga"
WARREN KEATS: "A Customary Tale"
TED LEAR: "Limericks"
     "The Pibbledy-Pobbledy Man"
WILLIAM McGONIGALL: "The Westgate Bridge Disaster"
WALTER BURLEY YEATS: "The Flashing Gyre"
JEMS CHOICE: "The Ballad of Jasper O'Reilly"
R.A.C.V. MILNE: "The Dog's Breakfast"
KAHLIHLlJI BRAN: "The Half-Yearly Prophet"
PINKO BROOKE: "The Soldier"
MARIANNE MORE: "The Majesty of Great Big Animals"
T.S. (TABBY SERIOUS) ELIOT: "The Love Song of J. Arthur Perpend"
     "The Accounting Cat"
b.b. hummings: "74"
OGDEN GNASH: "Pardon Me Madam But Is That Mandible On A Leash Or What?"
SIR DON BETJEMAN: "Another Subaltern's Wedding"
     "Advice To Chaps From Parents"
STEWIE SMITH: "Further Thoughts About the Person from Porlock"
W.H. AUDING: "Muse of Bauxite"
LOUIS 'THE LIP' MAcNEICE: "What I Did In The Holidays Section IX"
     "Flagpole Music"
DYLAN THOMPSON: "A Child's Christmas in Warrnambool"
LARRY PARKIN: "Mr Peacock"
     "This Be The Chorus"
VERN SCANLON: "Standing Orders"
SYLVIA BLATH: "Self Defence"
MARGARET ATTWOOD: "Everyone Dances"

From the Allen & Unwin hardback edition, 1990.

As an example of the work Clarke has done here I offer the following:


Wee, sleekit, cowerin, tim'rous beastie, I know tha's probably doing thy bestie, But the kind'st heart wuid ha' to see Thou's nay made a fist o' the thing, For e'en when there's nothin at a' to say And ye'd far better tak to th' hills fo' th' day Tha opens thy gob a' the drop o' the noo And thou lets the wind bloo tha tongue aroon.
Och ye poor wee laddie, ye've no got the breen, Ye've no got the sense to come cot o' the reen, Why don't thou gi'e it awa' and gae hame, It's no guid th' watch if ye can't tell th' tame, There are jobs gang aplenty awa' at the farm Afrightening birds by waving th' arms, Ye ken they're gae keen t' employ the bold laddies Awa' at the links where they're lookin for caddies, If that's no to thy taste and thou's wanting a change Thou'll try wi' th' gunnery up at the range, Thou'll no have much truible, thou've dun it afore, Thou's an expert for a' that; look, 'Wanted: Small Bore'.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2002-04 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: December 8, 2004.