Australia Category: 6 Entries

February 17, 2009

Happy 114th Birthday, Banjo Paterson

I have gathered these stories afar
In the wind and the rain,
In the land where the cattle-camps are,
On the edge of the Plain.
On the overland routes of the west,
When the watches were long,
I have fashioned in earnest and jest
These fragments of song.

They are just the rude stories one hears
In sadness and mirth,
The records of wandering years --
And scant is their worth.
Though their merits indeed are but slight,
I shall not repine
If they give you one moment's delight,
Old comrades of mine.
—A. B. "Banjo" Paterson Prelude

Source: University of Queensland (Australia) online edition of Prelude from The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses first published in 1895.
> It is the birthday of the poet, journalist, and songwriter Banjo Paterson born Andrew Paterson in Narrambla, Australia in 1864. He passed away on 5 February 1941 in Sydney, Australia. See Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009
> The biography of Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson by the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition
> A wonderful article about Banjo online in the National Geograohic Magazine by Roff Smith Australia's Bard.
> He is one of my most favorite poets and I have a number of entries devoted to him here on my blog, "Consider this."
  • Clancy of the Overflow
  • Banjo's 'The Man from Ironbark'
  • Happy Birthday, Banjo Paterson (2008)
  • The Old Australian Ways
  • Flowing Beards are All the Go
  • When My Hair is Grey?
  • Mulga Bill's Bicycle
  • Happy Birthday, Mom

September 5, 2008

Clancy of the Overflow

Source: Clancy of the Overflow by A. B. Banjo Paterson, the wonderful Australian poet. This recitation is dedicated to my Mum, Minna, an Australian War Bride to the USA.

Posted by niganit at 9:07 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Australia | Memorized Poetry | Poetry

July 25, 2008

Banjo's 'The Man From Ironbark'

This is me, Rich Wersinger, reciting The Man From Ironbark (4m21s) by A. B. Banjo Paterson, the beloved Australian poet and author.
> The biography of Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson by the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition
> Online edition of The Man From Ironbark

March 9, 2008

They Shall Not Grow Old

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
— Laurence Binyon, from his poem For the fallen

Source: Australian War Memorial page: Commemoration
See also:
> Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen.
> ANZAC Day (25 April) is the most important national day of commemoration for Australians. This poem is one poem traditionally read on ANZAC Day commemorations. See the Australian War Memorial's ANZAC Day.'s Faces of the Fallen: By age: 59-year-olds
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Posted by niganit at 5:06 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Australia | Poetry | Profound | Sadness

February 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Banjo Paterson

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows, "Clancy, of The Overflow"

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
"Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are."

* * * * * * * * *

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving "down the Cooper" where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

* * * * * * * * *

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal
--But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of The Overflow.
—A. B. (Andrew Barton) "Banjo" Paterson

Source: A.B. Paterson: Selected Poems published 1992 by Angus & Robertson Book ISBN 0-207-1726-4
> Today, Sunday, February, 17, 2008, I recited this poem to my Mom, Minna, whilst on a visit with her (and my sister, Sue and Dave) in Houston, Texas. She was filled with emotion and was well pleased. I also recited Paterson's The Man From Ironbark and Mulga Bill's Bicycle
> Today, February 17th, is "Banjo" Paterson's birthday. He was born Andrew Barton Paterson in Narrambla, New South Wales, Australia in 1864. He died in Sydney, New South Wales Australia on February 5, 1941.
See also:
> Garrison Keillor's The Wrtier's Almanac for Sunday, February 17, 2008
> University of Queensland, Australia "Banjo" Paterson's Cancy of the Overflow First published in the The Bulletin in 1889.

Posted by niganit at 5:01 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Australia | Famous People | Love | Memorized Poetry | Poetry

April 25, 2007

ANZAC Day, 2007

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
—John McCrae

Source: Australian War Memorial's Commemoration customs of ANZAC Day, April 25th.
⇒ ANZAC Day - 25 April - is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only fourteen years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders.
See: Australian War Memorial The Anzac Day Tradition [Australian War Memorial]

⇒ On this Anzac Day, April 25, 2007, I honor the memory of my Uncle Fred, my Mom's brother, who served in the RAAF during World War II and his service to Australia. Years later on a visit to the states, Uncle Fred and my Dad (who served in the US Army in the Pacific Theater) comparing notes discovered that they had been in the same place in New Guinea at the same time during the War. A small world indeed!
⇒ I also honor the service of all the men and women who served in the defence of Australia, particularly the RAN naval officers and RAN public servants I had the privilege of serving with in the late 1980's at Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC.

Posted by niganit at 7:00 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Australia | Poetry | Profound | Teaching