The Most famous verse to Dorethea McKellar's My Country
Australia’s Bush Poets were masters of the descriptive phrase, telling the story of our nation in rhythm and rhyme and reflecting the harsh realities and romanticism of pioneer life.
Poetic perspectives that echo through modern times.
Since the dawn of European settlement, bush poetry has formed a large part of our national identity, and was written by everyday Australians; drovers, farmers, selectors, squatters, shearers, and suffragettes.
Reflecting the zeitgeist, you can trace the birth of a nation through the works of Australia’s Bush Poets, their words ringing in the ears of everyday Australians.
In the days before modern media and music, the main means of communication throughout the colonies was newspapers, and poems were regularly featured as somewhat “Opinion Pieces”.
You get a true sense of the man on the street. Fingers firmly on the pulse of a nation.
And publishers knew that a poem could sell as many copies as any provoking headline splashed across the front pages.
Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda, Australia’s unofficial national anthem, arose from a poem, which itself arose from a commentary on the social upheaval within the country at the time of the Great Shearers Strike of 1891.
Just as my Gold Rush Stories series was inspired by the lives of Henry and Louisa Lawson, so too is this new series entitled Poetry of the Pioneers, which will reflect upon the lessons that can be learnt about who we are as Australians from the minds and mouths of those who were there.
Standing the test of time, fittingly an oral tradition unto itself.
In effect, Australia’s Bush Poets were ‘The Voices of Federation’.