The Old Pacific Sea (for Martin Sharp) single work   poetry   satire   "Oh, I was down by Manly pier"
Issue Details: First known date: 1991 1991
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Neglected Poems Barry Humphries , Pymble : Angus and Robertson , 1991 Z61994 1991 selected work poetry humour satire Pymble : Angus and Robertson , 1991 pg. 49-50

Works about this Work

Literature of the Pacific, Mainly Australian Peter Pierce , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Etropic : Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics , vol. 12 no. 2 2013; (p. 210-219)

This lecture is in some ways the ‘lost’ chapter of The Cambridge History of Australian Literature (2009), one eventually not written because the projected author could find not enough literary material even in that vast Pacific Ocean, or perhaps found – as mariners have – only far separated specks in that ocean. Yet Australian literature about the nation’s Pacific littoral and the islands within the ocean and the ocean itself is varied, considerable, and often eccentric. Our greatest drinking song is Barry Humphries’s ‘The Old Pacific Sea’. The Japs and the jungle are the hallmarks of fiction, poetry and reportage of the Pacific War of 1942-5. New Guinea has attracted such writers as James McAuley, Peter Ryan, Trevor Shearston, Randolph Stow and Drusilla Modjeska. The short stories of Louis Becke are the most extensive and iconoclastic writing about the Pacific by any Australian. Yet the literature of the Pacific littoral seems thinner than that of the Indian Ocean. The map on the title page of Rolf Boldrewood’s A Modern Buccaneer (1894) shows those afore-mentioned specks in a vast expanse of water. What aesthetic challenges have Pacific writing posed and how have they been met? Have the waters of the Pacific satisfied Australians as a near offshore playground but defeated wider efforts of the imagination? ' (Publication summary)

Literature of the Pacific, Mainly Australian Peter Pierce , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Etropic : Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics , vol. 12 no. 2 2013; (p. 210-219)

This lecture is in some ways the ‘lost’ chapter of The Cambridge History of Australian Literature (2009), one eventually not written because the projected author could find not enough literary material even in that vast Pacific Ocean, or perhaps found – as mariners have – only far separated specks in that ocean. Yet Australian literature about the nation’s Pacific littoral and the islands within the ocean and the ocean itself is varied, considerable, and often eccentric. Our greatest drinking song is Barry Humphries’s ‘The Old Pacific Sea’. The Japs and the jungle are the hallmarks of fiction, poetry and reportage of the Pacific War of 1942-5. New Guinea has attracted such writers as James McAuley, Peter Ryan, Trevor Shearston, Randolph Stow and Drusilla Modjeska. The short stories of Louis Becke are the most extensive and iconoclastic writing about the Pacific by any Australian. Yet the literature of the Pacific littoral seems thinner than that of the Indian Ocean. The map on the title page of Rolf Boldrewood’s A Modern Buccaneer (1894) shows those afore-mentioned specks in a vast expanse of water. What aesthetic challenges have Pacific writing posed and how have they been met? Have the waters of the Pacific satisfied Australians as a near offshore playground but defeated wider efforts of the imagination? ' (Publication summary)

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