Saltbush Bill single work   poetry   "Now this is the law of the Overland that all in the West obey,"
  • Author: A. B. Paterson http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/paterson-a-b-banjo
Issue Details: First known date: 1894 1894
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The character of "Saltbush Bill" is introduced in this poem as a drover of sheep along "the track of the Overland", who stretches the "the law of the Great Stock Routes" by allowing his sheep to make use of all the good grass they find. On the occasion described in the poem, Bill's sheep have spread across a squatter's property. A Jackaroo arrives and attempts to drive the sheep back into the accepted "space of the half-mile track". An argument and then fight ensues between Bill and the Jackaroo, and, while Bill concedes after a marathon fight, in the end he achieves his aim of finding his sheep a good feed.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin (Xmas edition) vol. 14 no. 774 15 December 1894 Z596475 1894 periodical issue 1894 pg. 18
  • Appears in:
    y The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses A. B. Paterson , Sydney London : Angus and Robertson Young J. Pentland , 1895 Z122819 1895 selected work poetry Sydney London : Angus and Robertson Young J. Pentland , 1895 pg. 50-55
  • Appears in:
    y The Coo-ee Reciter : Humourous, Pathetic, Dramatic, Dialect, Recitations and Readings William T. Pyke , London Melbourne : Ward, Lock , 1904 Z392035 1904 anthology short story poetry London Melbourne : Ward, Lock , 1904 pg. 17-20
  • Appears in:
    y Favourite Australian Poems Ian Mudie (editor), Adelaide : Rigby , 1963 Z337064 1963 anthology poetry humour Adelaide : Rigby , 1963 pg. 89-92
  • Appears in:
    y The Penguin Book of Australian Verse Harry Payne Heseltine (editor), Ringwood Harmondsworth : Penguin , 1972 Z334403 1972 anthology poetry Selection of works by Australian poets from Charles Harpur (1813-1868) to Charles Buckmaster (b. 1951). Ringwood Harmondsworth : Penguin , 1972 pg. 82-85
  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin vol. 101 no. 5243 23-30 December 1980 Z594181 1980 periodical issue 1980 pg. 87-88
  • Appears in:
    y The Collected Verse of A. B. Paterson : Containing 'The Man from Snowy River', 'Rio Grande' and 'Saltbush Bill, J. P.' A. B. Paterson , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1921 Z185994 1921 collected work poetry Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982 pg. 26-28
  • Appears in:
    y A Treasury of Colonial Poetry Milsons Point : Currawong , 1982 Z363730 1982 anthology poetry Milsons Point : Currawong , 1982 pg. 255-257
  • Appears in:
    y Singer of the Bush, A. B. (Banjo) Paterson : Complete Works 1885-1900 A. B. Paterson , Rosamund Campbell , Philippa Harvie , Sydney : Lansdowne , 1983 Z499636 1983 collected work short story poetry drama biography humour satire Sydney : Lansdowne , 1983 pg. 227-228
  • Appears in:
    y A Collection of Australian Bush Verse Castle Hill : Peter Antill-Rose , 1989 Z91384 1989 anthology poetry Castle Hill : Peter Antill-Rose , 1989 pg. 18-19
  • Appears in:
    y The Banjo's Best-Loved Poems : Chosen by his Grand-Daughters A. B. Paterson , Rosamund Campbell , Philippa Harvie , Sydney : Lansdowne , 1985 Z571016 1985 selected work poetry Willoughby : Weldon Publishing , 1989 pg. 41-45
  • Appears in:
    y A Vision Splendid : The Complete Poetry of A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson A. B. Paterson , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990 Z266275 1990 selected work poetry drama satire humour North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990 pg. 12-13
  • Appears in:
    y A Treasury of Bush Verse G. A. Wilkes (editor), North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1991 Z61919 1991 anthology poetry humour North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1991 pg. 43-46
  • Appears in:
    y Selected Poems : A. B. Paterson A. B. Paterson , Les Murray , Pymble : Angus and Robertson , 1992 Z414462 1992 selected work poetry humour satire Pymble : Angus and Robertson , 1992 pg. 18-21
  • Appears in:
    y A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson : Bush Ballads, Poems, Stories and Journalism A. B. Paterson , Clement Semmler (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1992 Z459901 1992 selected work short story poetry extract criticism prose biography humour war literature St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1992 pg. 31-33
  • Appears in:
    y The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads [1993] Elizabeth Webby (editor), Philip Butterss (editor), Ringwood : Penguin , 1993 Z136407 1993 anthology poetry humour satire Ringwood : Penguin , 1993 pg. 238-240
  • Appears in:
    y Banjo Paterson : His Poetry and Prose A. B. Paterson , Richard Hall , St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1993 Z467615 1993 selected work short story poetry extract drama criticism biography war literature humour satire St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1993 pg. 81-85
  • Appears in:
    y The Collected Verse of Banjo Paterson A. B. Paterson , Clement Semmler (editor), South Yarra : Viking O'Neil , 1992 Z506304 1992 collected work poetry satire humour Ringwood : Penguin , 1993 pg. 53-56
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Poetry Library APRIL; APL; The Australian Poetry Resources Internet Library John Tranter , Sydney : 2004- Z1368099 2004- website

    'The Australian Poetry Library (APL) aims to promote a greater appreciation and understanding of Australian poetry by providing access to a wide range of poetic texts as well as to critical and contextual material relating to them, including interviews, photographs and audio/visual recordings.

    This website currently contains over 42,000 poems, representing the work of more than 170 Australian poets. All the poems are fully searchable, and may be accessed and read freely on the World Wide Web. Readers wishing to download and print poems may do so for a small fee, part of which is returned to the poets via CAL, the Copyright Agency Limited. Teachers, students and readers of Australian poetry can also create personalised anthologies, which can be purchased and downloaded. Print on demand versions will be availabe from Sydney University Press in the near future.

    It is hoped that the APL will encourage teachers to use more Australian material in their English classes, as well as making Australian poetry much more available to readers in remote and regional areas and overseas. It will also help Australian poets, not only by developing new audiences for their work but by allowing them to receive payment for material still in copyright, thus solving the major problem associated with making this material accessible on the Internet.

    The Australian Poetry Library is a joint initiative of the University of Sydney and the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). Begun in 2004 with a prototype site developed by leading Australian poet John Tranter, the project has been funded by a major Linkage Grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC), CAL and the University of Sydney Library. A team of researchers from the University of Sydney, led by Professor Elizabeth Webby and John Tranter, in association with CAL, have developed the Australian Poetry Library as a permanent and wide-ranging Internet archive of Australian poetry resources.' Source: www.poetrylibrary.edu.au (Sighted 30/05/2011).

    Sydney : 2004-
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Poetry Since 1788 Geoffrey Lehmann (editor), Robert Gray (editor), Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2011 Z1803846 2011 anthology poetry (taught in 1 units) 'A good poem is one that the world can’t forget or is delighted to rediscover. This landmark anthology of Australian poetry, edited by two of Australia’s foremost poets, Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray, contains such poems. It is the first of its kind for Australia and promises to become a classic. Included here are Australia’s major poets, and lesser-known but equally affecting ones, and all manifestations of Australian poetry since 1788, from concrete poems to prose poems, from the cerebral to the naïve, from the humorous to the confessional, and from formal to free verse. Translations of some striking Aboriginal song poems are one of the high points. Containing over 1000 poems from 170 Australian poets, as well as short critical biographies, this careful reevaluation of Australian poetry makes this a superb book that can be read and enjoyed over a lifetime.' (From the publisher's website.) Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2011 pg. 98-100

Works about this Work

Banjo Paterson : A Poet Nearly Anonymous Harry Payne Heseltine , 1964 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Meanjin Quarterly , December vol. 23 no. 4 1964; (p. 386-402) The Australian Nationalists : Modern Critical Essays 1971; (p. 176-195)
Heseltine assesses the value of Paterson's poetry, taking its consistent metre, rhythm and pastoral themes into account. Drawing on Ransom's discussion of the "greatness" of Milton's Lycidas, Heseltine stresses the need for an audience that comprehends the literary conventions being employed in a work. This accounts for the form of the Paterson's poems because he knew what his audience wanted: simple, consistent metres and rhythms with an "arcadian" background. Heseltine concludes that this arcadian view, combined with Paterson's technical prowess and immense popularity demands closer attention to bring readers closer to an understanding of Australian culture.
Banjo Paterson : A Poet Nearly Anonymous Harry Payne Heseltine , 1964 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Meanjin Quarterly , December vol. 23 no. 4 1964; (p. 386-402) The Australian Nationalists : Modern Critical Essays 1971; (p. 176-195)
Heseltine assesses the value of Paterson's poetry, taking its consistent metre, rhythm and pastoral themes into account. Drawing on Ransom's discussion of the "greatness" of Milton's Lycidas, Heseltine stresses the need for an audience that comprehends the literary conventions being employed in a work. This accounts for the form of the Paterson's poems because he knew what his audience wanted: simple, consistent metres and rhythms with an "arcadian" background. Heseltine concludes that this arcadian view, combined with Paterson's technical prowess and immense popularity demands closer attention to bring readers closer to an understanding of Australian culture.
Last amended 12 Jan 2015 06:36:10
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