Poetical Works of Henry Lawson

1867-1922

Born in a tent on Grenfell goldfields.  Father a Norse sailor turned goldfield digger and a Kentish mother of gypsy blood and tradition. He seems to have led a mostly nomadic life, crossing oceans as well as  working on farms and stations. Always writing. Short stories, masses of poetry and working as a jouranalist in Sydney until succumbing finally to alcaholism and almost destitution except for the support of  a boarding house keeper who was also a poet and had great admiration for Henry’s work.

 

A very brief outline of a man whose work I am reading now, having found  a re-issue of his 1933 edition by Angus & Robertson.

Briefly, his metre and rhyme seems punctilious, his subjects quite varied but mostly of the land- workers: Shearer, swagman, the woman who watched and waited for them and the political and class struggles of the day. Throughout  is the space in time as well as distance of the landscape whether on a farmstead or travelling through a township.  The characters are all real, unglossed and often lost.

The intro. mentions him coming out of the realms of  Wordsworth and Byron. To me Kipling and Tennyson are sometimes in step with his metre and style but the tru-ism of the introduction is that he is an Australian poet.

a sample:  not the best but one of the shorter poems.  Longer ones continue in similar strong patterns but a multitude of subjects  decide on feelings, of sadness, harshness of reality and hope.  :

Rain in the Mountains

The valley’s full of misty clouds,

Its tinted beauty drowning,

Tree-tops are veiled in fleecy shrouds,

And mountain fronts are frowning.

 

The mist is hanging like a pall

Above the granite ledges,

And many a silvery waterfall

Leaps o’er the valley edges.

 

The sky is of a leaden grey,

Save where the north looks surly,

The driven daylight speeds away,

And night comes o’er early.

 

Dear Love, the rain will pass full soon,

Far sooner than my sorrow,

But in a golden afternoon

The sun may set tomorrow.

 

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About poetryparc2

Here goes: I write a bit of poetry, sometimes about poetry I find and ditto any sort of books I take a fancy to. I seem to have a preference for seeing the changes from the late Victorian period through to the 1930's, maybe 50's. But, and a big but, could carry that right up to current poetry/performance poetry. Though sometimes my grounding for 'imagist and Nature' might unnerve me for too much too modern. However, I do like to range widely over all 'historical' poetry, and fiction, any and all periods. I also like finding (if only for me) regional or partly forgotten poems and poets. Maybe all this is too eclectic to have a themed 'Blog' but so be it....... I also enjoy writing bits of fiction that might add up to a small mole-hill one day. Plus reviewing of new or old books that are relevant to my enthusiasms of Crime fiction, the Arts, Natural History and Special Education. This is on 'wordparc'. I try to record honestly what I think but if something is too bad (to my mind, others may love it!!) then I will not 'blog' it There, what's that if not seemingly random!
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