"This comprehensive collection of the poetry of C.J. Dennis includes poems from The Sentimenal Bloke, Jim of the Hills,
Digger Smith, The Glugs of Gosh, Ginger Mick, Blackblock Ballads, The Book for Kids and Doreen.
"The selection has been made, and is introduced, by Dennis' biographer, Alec H. Chisholm. Mr Chisholm has aimed at
achieving a truly representative selection, one which displays Dennis' versatility as well as his skill.
"Dennis is, of course, best known as the author of The Sentimental Bloke, the master of 'slanguage'. He also
wrote, however, as well as other vernacular verse tales, bush ballads, the lilting fantasy The Glugs of Gosh,
and many merry and melodious verses for children. Examples of all these are included here.
"Selected Verse of C.J. Dennis is a thoroughly entertaining volume, the poet's verses occasionally complemented
by an original Hal Gye illustration. Those readers already familiar with Dennis' verse will regain the joy of former
readings; new readers will be captivated by its robust humour, human tenderness and extraordinary skill in rhyming."
A REAL AUSTRALIAN AUSTRA-LAISE
THE SONGS OF A SENTIMENTAL BLOKE
A Spring Song
The Stoush o'Day
The Mooch o' Life
THE MOODS OF GINGER MICK
The Call of Stoush
The Singing Soldiers
A Letter to the Front
A Gallant Gentleman
ROSE OF SPADGERS
The Faltering Knight
A Holy War
The Knight's Return
A Woman's Way
Over the Fence
A Digger's Tale
Half a Man
JIM OF THE HILLS
A Morning Song
THE GLUGS OF GOSH
The Glug Quest
Joi, the Glug
The Stones of Gosh
Sym, The Son of Joi
The Growth of Sym
The Swanks of Gosh
The Rhymes of Sym
The First Rhyme of Sym
The Second Rhyme of Sym
The Last Rhyme of Sym
The Little Red Dog
The Ant Explorer
Going to School
An Old Master
The Silent Member
The Bridge Across the Crick
A Song of Rain
Hymn of Futility
THE SINGING GARDEN
The Indian Myna
The Satin Bower-Bird
First Paragraph from the Introduction:
Was there ever an autobiography, in fact or fiction, prose or verse, that opened in more forthright fashion than does the
tale of Australia's Sentimental Bloke, as presented by C. J. Dennis:
The world 'as got me snouted jist a treat;
Crool Forchin's dirty left 'as smote me soul;
An' all them joys o' life I 'eld so sweet
Is up the pole!
The Bloke - known also as the Kid and Bill - was obviously at odds with the whole universe when he made that poignant
complaint. But, of course, his condition was no novelty. Many a man before him had developed a fervent grouch against
the world at large. Similar feelings had been expressed, for example, by another "Bill" of a much earlier day - one
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate.
If the language of the Shakespearian sonnet is rather more chaste than that of the Dennis song, the two expressions are
impressively alike in substance. (They bear in fact the same relationship as do Hamlet's claim, "There's a divinity that
shapes our ends", and the Bloke's crisp remark, "It's 'ow Gawd builds a bloke".) They are, moreover, alike in having a
flavour of factual autobiography. That is to say, Dennis himself was in trouble with "Forchin's dirty left"
just as often as Shakespeare was "in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes", and, no doubt, he found relief at times, as
Shakespeare apparently did, in causing his spirit to "rail on Lady Fortune in good terms" - if only to prove that the
clouds were usually followed by sunshine.
From the Angus and Robertson hardback edition, 1975.