RANDOM VERSE book cover
  Random Verse
C.J. Dennis
edited by Margaret Herron




Dustjacket synopsis:
"The publication of a new volume of verse from the pen of C. J. Dennis is an event of literary importance to Australia. Although it is well over thirty years since "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke" brought C. J. Dennis from obscurity to the front rank of Australian poetry, today he still remains Australia's most popular poet.

"When Dennis died in 1938, he left among his papers a wealth of unpublished verse and writings. It is a fitting postscript to his earlier works that his widow should have been entrusted with making this delightful selection of "Random Verse," for no other person knew better every mood and thought of this pungent philosopher and lord of "slanguage." Readers will agree with Mrs. Dennis that her salvage has been well worth while.

"Apart from the humorous slang which punctuates much of this verse, its greatest appeal will be found in the humour, pathos, sentiment and kindly view of human nature. It is the type of verse which makes one feel that, come what may, life still is good. Here, then, is something to quicken the senses and bring a smile or two, from one sentimental bloke to another."

Foreword by the editor
In making this selection of verses from the many that appeared in the Melbourne "Herald" during C. J. Dennis's association with that paper, I found myself in a quandary. There was so much to choose from. Which verses would I use, and which put aside for future reference?

I have used very little political verse, although politics are much the same as they were when the verses were written, but politicians come and politicians go, and few people remember those who have gone.

I have tried to give the reader an idea of the many facets of the poet's work. There is some laughter, there are some tears, and there is much to give quiet enjoyment to the thoughtful.

C. J. Dennis has been dead over twelve years, and in reading through the verse I was amazed at the freshness of it and how very applicable some of it is to the present time.

John Masefield, England's Poet Laureate, said, on the death of Dennis, that it would be a great pity if such a terrific amount of good work should be forgotten. I have tried to rescue some of it, and think my salvage has been worth while.


Introducing the Day Family
Lines Written in Hospital
Magic Lady
The Talkietypes
The Shorter Week
All Fools' Day
The Broken Teapot
Spots Through the Ages
Summer Sanctuary
Sufficient Unto the Day
Strictly Business
Sir J.M. Barrie
Synthetic Beauties
A Round with Kipling
What the Possum Said
Another Economic Riddle
The Crossing
How to Hold a Husband
The Regimented Hen
Communursery Rhymes
Country Towns - Portland
The Spoilers
Vale, John Monash
Postscript to Posterity
The Road's End
The Fool and the Fire
Song of Snobs
The Exiles
Purrs and Reprisals
Old Pete Muses
Hoodlums' Holiday
Ironic Counterpoint
The Joke
The Lost Accord
Our Rampant Coat-of-Arms
Sanctuary Scorned
Goophic Phantasm
Morning Glory
March of Memories
Amateur Amateur Gardeners
Murderer's Ear
Pulped for Posterity
The Cab Horse's Story
Furthermore and Moreover
Top o' the Morning
The Banana's Lullaby
The Demon Milk
Mount Tanglefoot
Two Men
Fowls of Fashion
Country Roads - The New Chum
The Dove has a Word
The Economic Paradox
Country Roads - White Horse Road
The Courteous Cop
"Bobbie" for Brotherhood
The Red Toll of the Road
A Dog's View
Show Fever
Country Fellows
The Yellow Stone
The Shrine
Aesthete in the Avenue
Santa - 1935 Model
Quantum Sufficit
A Beauty Hint
The Germ Chaser
The Barber's Story
Pastoral Homily
The Prophet
Yule Fever
In Session
I Have a Tale
My Scenario
The Penalty of Fame
Modern Methods
The End of the Road
Politics for Tots: Lesson 2 - "The Party"
The Broken Sanctuary
The Elusive New Zoo Gnu
Spring Poem - Opus 175,631
Christmas Scene
Spring Delirium
The Prophetess
A Digger to His Son
For Richer, For Poorer
The Humble Heroes
Song of Steel
Our Town Awakes
A Terrier's Tale
Gentlemen, the King
Red Roads
Dad on the Test
A Line from Little Johnnie
Autumn Song
In Those Barbaric Days
Spring Upheaval
Country Roads - Pretty Sally
The Little People
Birthday Honors
Things to Come
The Madman
To a Dead Mate
In a Forest Garden
The Rose and the Bee
Oh, Pshaw!
In the Hearts of Men
March Flies
When So Dispoged
The Fashionable Frankenstein
The New Bigot
The Melting Pot
The Solitary Bee
Tread Softly
Galloping Horses
Drinking Song of a Moth
The Old White Horse
John Galsworthy
Perpetual Motion
Vandals Reversed
Brightness Breaches and the Beak
Pindarus in Los Angeles
A Farmer's Life
Test by Fire
The Demonstrator

The bulk of the work included in this volume has been stored in the relevant Herald year directory. Where this has not happened the poem's exact publication date has not been discovered.


Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06