Reprint: Australasian Verse

The inclusion of Australia in the "Oxford"' series is welcome, and no better editor than Professor Walter Murdoch could have been found for the "Oxford Book of Australasian Verse." The name of our poets is legion, their fertility is enormous, and perhaps for that very reason Australian poetry shows to better effect in an anthology than in a library. Professor Murdoch has been wide in his range and judicious in his choice. The fact that there is not a "book" to one's credit does not stand in the way; some of the best work, indeed, is culled from fugitive publications by comparatively unknown men. One is glad to see, for instance, that "Australia Felix," by Mr. Dowell O'Reilly, has received a more permanent setting and a larger audience. And there are many other poems by young singers, who have already deserved their niche in our temple, although a less painstaking editor might have overlooked them. Professor Murdoch is as discriminating in his selection from those whose names are household words with us. But this anthology has one disability which, though he is not responsible for it, prevents it from being wholly representative of Australian poetry. The "inexorable necessities of copyright" have compelled him to omit many flowers from his garland. An anthology which contains nothing of the work of Daley, Brunton Stephens, Essex Evans, John Farrell, Barcroft Boake, Major Paterson, Mr. Henry Lawson, Mr. W. M. Ogilvie, and Miss Zora Cross, to name only a few, does not give to the world the best fruits of Australian poetry. (Oxford University Press.)

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 1918

[Thanks to the National Library of Australia's newspaper digitisation project for this piece.]

Note: I think there is a misprint here and the author actually is referring to William H. Ogilvie, not "W. M.".

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 17, 2010 8:46 AM.

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