THE PENGUIN BOOK OF AUSTRALIAN VERSE   The Penguin Book of Australian Verse
edited by Harry Heseltine

Cover: detail from Wimmera Landscape by Arthur Boyd

First Paragraph from the Introduction

Robert Frost, it is reported, once gave a lecture on 'The Anthology as the Highest Form of Criticism'. While the lecture itself has not survived, its title has the ring of truth to anybody who has ever tried to assemble a collection of other men's work. The sheer volume of material to be screened: the complex and delicate considerations competing for priority in every decision for acceptance or rejection; the problems of ordering and arrangement: these matters, responsibly approached, make the anthologist's task one of the severest tests of principle and practice in the whole ambit of literary criticism.

It is as well, therefore, to set down at the outset some of the basic principles I have tried to follow in making this selection of Australian verse. In the first place, I have not sought to make every previous collection obsolete. Such wholesale erasure of the past seems to me neither profitable nor indeed possible. My wish is rather, to supplement and complement that sense of what is central to our poetry which earlier collections have helped to form.

I have therefore included - and without apology - a number of 'standard' anthology pieces, by poets both major and minor. Their omission would merely have obtained novelty at the expense of sanity. Generally, I have been guided not only by what personally pleases me but also by what I believe to be essential to an understanding of the development of our poetry. I have not, however, construed it as part of my responsibility to pinpoint every newly discovered feature on the map of the absolutely up-to-the-minute. The work of the very young, the exactly contemporary and most boldly experimental, will always elicit interest from readers of poetry, an interest which can merge all too readily into the culturally modish, the intellectually chic. What seems bright and shiny today may, by tomorrow, be abraded entirely away.

Introduction by Harry Heseltine
"The Creek of the Four Graves" by Charles Harpur
"A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest" by Charles Harpur
"The Sick Stockrider" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
"Bell-Birds" by Henry Kendall
"The Last of His Tribe" by Henry Kendall
"The Song of Ninian Melville" by Henry Kendall
"Dreams" by Victor Daley
"When London Calls" by Victor Daley
"The Man from Snowy River" by Andrew Barton ('Banjo') Paterson
"Saltbush Bill" by Andrew Barton ('Banjo') Paterson
"Eve-Song" by Mary Gilmore
"Never Admit the Pain" by Mary Gilmore
"The Men of Eureka" by Mary Gilmore
"The Yarran-Tree" by Mary Gilmore
"An Aboriginal Simile" by Mary Gilmore
"Old Botany Bay" by Mary Gilmore
"Where the Dead Men Lie" by Barcroft Boake
"An Allegory" by Barcroft Boake
"Australia" by Bernard O'Dowd
"Middleton's Rouseabout" by Henry Lawson
"The Song of Old Joe Swallow" by Henry Lawson
"One-Hundred-and-Three" by Henry Lawson
"The Wanderer" by Christopher Brennan
""Epilogue" by Christopher Brennan
"The Silver Gull" by John le Gay Brereton
"The Orange Tree" by John Shaw Neilson
"Song Be Delicate" by John Shaw Neilson
"May" by John Shaw Neilson
"Schoolgirls Hastening" by John Shaw Neilson
"Native Companions Dancing" by John Shaw Neilson
"Beauty Imposes" by John Shaw Neilson
"I Blow My Pipes" by Hugh McCrae
"Ambuscade" by Hugh McCrae
"Fantasy" by Hugh McCrae
"Enigma" by Hugh McCrae
"Plunder" by Furnley Maurice
"Apples in the Moon" by Furnley Maurice
"The Agricultural Show, Flemington, Victoria" by Furnley Maurice
"The Net-Menders" by Brian Vrepont
"On Moral Laws" by William Baylebridge
"The Farmer Remembers the Somme" by Vance Palmer
"Snake's-Eye View of a Serial Story" by Peter Hopegood
"These Men" by Leon Gelbert
"Align Your Act" by Tom Inglis Moore
"Thieves' Kitchen" by Kenneth Slessor
"Fixed Ideas" by Kenneth Slessor
"Metempsychosis" by Kenneth Slessor
"Sensuality" by Kenneth Slessor
"South Country" by Kenneth Slessor
"Captain Dobbin" by Kenneth Slessor
"Elegy in a Botanic Garden" by Kenneth Slessor
"The Night-Ride" by Kenneth Slessor
"Five Bells" by Kenneth Slessor
"Beach Burial" by Kenneth Slessor
"The Hidden Bole" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"This Night's Orbit" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"Heemskerck Shoals" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"The Face of the Waters" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"Song in Autumn" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"Bog and Candle" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"Macquarie Place" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"The Wind at Your Door" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"Invocation of Josefa Assela" by R.D. Fitzgerald
"Football Field: Evening" by J.A.R. McKellar
"Twelve O'Clock Boat" by J.A.R. McKellar
"For it was Early Summer" by James Picot
"Australia" by A.D. Hope
"The Wandering Islands" by A.D. Hope
"The Death of the Bird" by A.D. Hope
"Imperial Adam" by A.D. Hope
"Pasiphae" by A.D. Hope
"Letter from the Line" by A.D. Hope
"Ode on the Death of Pius the Twelfth" by A.D. Hope
"Crossing the Frontier" by A.D. Hope
"Moschus Moschiferus" by A.D. Hope
"On an Engraving by Casserius" by A.D. Hope
"A Latter Day Polonius to His Sons" by John Thompson
"Attis" by John Thompson
"Moonlight" by Harry Hooton
"The Word is Too Much Withered" by Harry Hooton
"Au Tombeau de Mon Pere" by Ronald McCuaig
"After Lunik Two" by Elizabeth Riddell
"In the Train" by R. D. Murphy
"The Inca Tupac Upanqui" by William Hart-Smith
"Postage Stamp" by William Hart-Smith
"Razor Fish" by William Hart-Smith
"They'll Tell You About Me" by Ian Mudie
"In Sunny Days of Winter" by Ian Mudie
"The North-Bound Rider" by Ian Mudie
"Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land (11th June, 1837)" by Hal Porter
"The Desecrated Valley" by C.B. Christesen
"I Had No Human Speech" by Roland Robinson
"Altjeringa" by Roland Robinson
"Passage of the Swans" by Roland Robinson
"The Seed Goes Home" by Roland Robinson
"Death of a Whale" by John Blight
"Mud" by John Blight
"Helmet Shell" by John Blight
"Lamprey" by John Blight
"Our World" by Flexmore Hudson
"Earth-Colours" by Rex Ingamells
"Black Mary" by Rex Ingamells
"History" by Rex Ingamells
"The Moonlit Doorway" by Kenneth MacKenzie
"The Wagtail's Nest" by Kenneth MacKenzie
"Derelict" by Kenneth MacKenzie
"An Old Inmate" by Kenneth MacKenzie
"Rock Carving" by Douglas Stewart
"The Dosser in Springtime" by Douglas Stewart
"The Brown Snake" by Douglas Stewart
"One Yard of Earth" by Douglas Stewart
"B Flat" by Douglas Stewart
"The Silkworms" by Douglas Stewart
"Firewhell Tree" by Douglas Stewart
"Fence" by Douglas Stewart
"Professor Picard" by Douglas Stewart
"Orpheus and the Trees" by Harold Stewart
"A Sydney Scot When the Boat Comes In" by John Couper
"For You Angela" by John Couper
"Apopemptic Hymn" by Dorothy Auchterlonie
"Men in Green" by David Campbell
"Windy Gap" by David Campbell
"Night Sowing" by David Campbell
"Under Wattles" by David Campbell
"Droving" by David Campbell
"Windy Nights" by David Campbell
"The Tomb of Lieut. John Learmouth, A.I.F." by J.S. Manifold
"The Showmen" by J.S. Manifold
"Gordon Childe" by David Martin
"The Company of Lovers" by Judith Wright
"Bullocky" by Judith Wright
"South of My Days" by Judith Wright
"Woman to Man" by Judith Wright
"The Cycads" by Judith Wright
"Our Love is so Natural" by Judith Wright
"Black-Shouldered Kite" by Judith Wright
"The Harp and the King" by Judith Wright
"Clock and Heart" by Judith Wright
"Typists in the Phoenix Building" by Judith Wright
"The Beanstalk, Meditated Later" by Judith Wright
"Moon and Pear-Tree" by Nancy Cato
"Terra Australis" by James McAuley
"The Incarnation of Sirius" by James McAuley
"Time for Swans" by James McAuley
"Celebration of Divine Love" by James McAuley
"A Leaf of Sage" by James McAuley
"Aubade" by James McAuley
"Pieta" by James McAuley
"St John's Park, New Town" by James McAuley
"Because" by James McAuley
"The Cloak" by James McAuley
"Consecration of the House" by W.S. Fairbridge
"The Mirror" by Rosemary Dobson
"Cock Crow" by Rosemary Dobson
"Jack" by Rosemary Dobson
"The Wound" by Gwen Harwood
"Triste, Triste" by Gwen Harwood
"The Glass Jar" by Gwen Harwood
"Estuary" by Gwen Harwood
"Cocktails at Seven" by Gwen Harwood
"Up-Country Pubs" by Colin Thiele
"We Are Going" by Kath Walker
"Municipal Gum" by Kath Walker
"A Window at Night" by Max Harris
"The Death of Bert Sassenowsky" by Max Harris
"My Grandfather Goes Blind" by T.H. Jones
"The Bus-Ride Home" by Nan McDonald
"Abandoned Airstrip, Northern Territory" by Geoffrey Dutton
"January" by Geoffrey Dutton
"Ky in Australia: A Postscript" by Geoffrey Dutton
"Our Crypto-Wowsers" by Geoffrey Dutton
"Sea at Portsea" by Alexander Craig
"Go Down Red Roses" by Dorothy Hewett
"The Goat with the Golden Eyes" by Nancy Keesing
"Sheaf Tosser" by Eric Rolls
"The Knife" by Eric Rolls
"The Candle is Going Out" by David Rowbotham
"First Man Lost in Space" by David Rowbotham
"Late Tutorial" by Vincent Buckley
"Colloquoy and Resolution" by Vincent Buckley
"Places" by Vincent Buckley
"Burning the Effects" by Vincent Buckley
"Fellow Traveller" by Vincent Buckley
"Youth Leader" by Vincent Buckley
"Hand in Hand" by Laurence Collinson
"The Way to the Headland" by Jill Hellyer
"Canberra in April" by J.R. Rowland
"Dawn Stepping Down" by J.R. Rowland
"On First Hearing a Cockatoo" by Francis Webb
"The Yellowhammer" by Francis Webb
"Pneumo-Encephalograph" by Francis Webb
"Harry" by Francis Webb
"Wild Honey" by Francis Webb
"A Small Dirge for the Trade" by Noel Macainsh
"Isaac" by Wilma Hedley
"Red Scarf" by Grace Perry
"Time of Turtles" by Grace Perry
"Goldfish at an Angle" by Alan Riddell
"At the Hammersmith Palais" by Alan Riddell
"Exit" by Bruce Beaver
"Holiday" by Bruce Beaver
"Sittings by Appointment Only" by Bruce Beaver
"Letters to Live Poets, I" by Bruce Beaver
"Your Attention Please" by Peter Porter
"Competition is Healthy" by Peter Porter
"Moaning in Midstream" by Peter Porter
"Student" by R.A. Simpson
"Carboni in the Chimney" by R.A. Simpson
"How To Go On Not Looking" by Bruce Dawe
"The Not-So-Good Earth" by Bruce Dawe
"Life-Cycle" by Bruce Dawe
"A Victorian Hangman Tells His Love" by Bruce Dawe
"Home-Coming" by Bruce Dawe
"Still Lives" by Charles Higham
"Dusk at Waterfall" by Charles Higham
"Harbourscape" by Charles Higham
"The War Museam at Nagasaki" by Charles Higham
"The Creature" by Charles Higham
"Noah's Song" by Evan Jones
"Boxing On" by Evan Jones
"Reconciliation" by John Croyston
"Dialogue" by Vivian Smith
"Late April: Hobart" by Vivian Smith
"Balmoral, Summer" by Vivian Smith
"At a School Athletics Day" by David Malouf
"The Priestess of the Temple" by Ann Tregenza
"Melbourne" by Chris Wallace-Crabbe
"A Wintry Manifesto" by Chris Wallace-Crabbe
"The Secular" by Chris Wallace-Crabbe
"Nature, Language, the Sea: An Essay" by Chris Wallace-Crabbe
"Rustum" by Chris Wallace-Crabbe
"The Hunter" by Rodney Hall
"The Two Staircases of Consummation" by Rodney Hall
"Heaven, in a Way" by Rodney Hall
"Cut-Out" by Rodney Hall
"Enemies" by Thomas W. Shapcott
"Quetzalcoatl" by Thomas W. Shapcott
"Party in Room 21" by Thomas W. Shapcott
"Death of the Minotaur" by Thomas W. Shapcott
"Dust" by Randolph Stow
"Ruins of the City of Hay" by Randolph Stow
"Sleep" by Randolph Stow
"Ismael" by Randolph Stow
"Nu-Plastik Fanfare Red" by Judith Rodriguez
"Ballad of Old Women" by Norman Talbot
"How to Write 2 Poems" by Don Maynard
"Fragments of O'Flaherty" by B.A. Breen
"A New England Farm, August 1914" by Les Murray
"The Princes' Land" by Les Murray
"Blood" by Les Murray
"The Wilderness" by Les Murray
"An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow" by Les Murray
"Matins" by Peter Steele
"The Pigs" by Geoffrey Lehmann
"A Voyage of Lions" by Geoffrey Lehmann
"Five Days Late" by Geoffrey Lehmann
"Pear Days in Queensland" by Geoffrey Lehmann
"Nembutal Rock" by Craig Powell
"The Sistine Spiders" by Andrew Taylor
"1966-1866" by Roger McDonald
"The Moment of Waking" by John Tranter
"Toward Abstraction/Possibly a Gull's Wing" by Robert Adamson
"The Farmer" by Peter Skrzynecki
"epiderm" by Michael Dransfield
"ground zero" by Michael Dransfield
"To This Place" by Charles Buckmaster

From the Penguin paperback edition, 1976.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2001-04 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: June 1, 2004.