Spring Song of a Bloke single work   poetry   humour   "The world 'as got me snouted jist a treat;"
  • Author: C. J. Dennis http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/dennis-c-j-clarence-james
Issue Details: First known date: 1913 1913
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: A Spring Song
Notes:
Minor title and textual variations appear in texts
  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin vol. 34 no. 1726 13 March 1913 Z610488 1913 periodical issue 1913 pg. 43
  • Appears in:
    y The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke C. J. Dennis , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1915 Z429076 1915 selected work poetry humour

    Arguably the most popular book of poetry ever produced in Australia, The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke was first published in October 1915. Its success was immediate and unprecedented for a book of Australian verse. The first edition of 2,480 copies sold out within weeks, and by the end of February 1916 the book had reached a fifth impression and was still selling well. Tongue firmly in cheek, C. J. Dennis informed his publishers Angus and Robertson that the work's 'success [was] becoming monotonous'. There was more monotony to come, however: the book sold more than 100,000 copies in the first five years after its publication, and was rarely out of print in Dennis's lifetime. Added to this, there were film, stage, and musical versions of the work, as well as recitals given by popular entertainers. In many respects, 'The Sentimental Bloke' became a phenomenon of popular culture that took on a life of its own.

    Dennis later claimed that the idea for 'The Sentimental Bloke' came from a 'racy' young man from Melbourne he had met in Toolangi. According to Dennis' wife Margaret Herron, the young man had fallen in love with a farmer's daughter, but the farmer disapproved and forbade her from having anything to do with him. The Melbourne man was said to have complained to Dennis, 'what sort of bloke do they think I am? Blimey, anyone would think I was a crook! Ain't a bloke got sisters of his own?' In Dennis's imagination, this frustrated love affair eventually became a story in which a tough, streetwise young larrikin gives up his dissolute ways for domestic happiness with his sweetheart. A crucial factor in the success of Dennis's 'Sentimental Bloke' verse was that it was narrated from the point of view of 'the Bloke', employing a slang idiom appropriate to the character. In his correspondence with his publishers, Dennis noted that 'the stuff, while not having any considerable literary merit, is, I believe, extremely popular'.

    Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1915
    pg. 13-16
  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin vol. 101 no. 5196 29 January 1980 Z590843 1980 periodical issue 1980 pg. 282
  • Appears in:
    y My Country : Australian Poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years Leonie Kramer (editor), Sydney : Lansdowne , 1985 Z219820 1985 anthology poetry short story Sydney : Lansdowne , 1985 pg. 508-510
  • Appears in:
    y Selected Works of C. J. Dennis C. J. Dennis , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1988 Z127738 1988 selected work poetry humour North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1988 pg. 21-22
  • Appears in:
    y Favourite Poems of C. J. Dennis C. J. Dennis , Frenchs Forest : Child and Associates , 1989 Z242712 1989 selected work poetry Frenchs Forest : Child and Associates , 1989 pg. 8-9
  • Appears in:
    y The Oxford Book of Australian Love Poems Jennifer Strauss (editor), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1993 Z203381 1993 anthology poetry war literature satire humour romance Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1993 pg. 41-43

Works about this Work

Filming a Poem Les Murray , 1990 single work criticism
— Appears in: Blocks and Tackles : articles and essays 1982 to 1990 1990; (p. 88-106) The Paperbark Tree : selected prose 1992; (p. 274-289) A Working Forest : Selected Prose 1997; (p. 330-343) The Quality of Sprawl : thoughts about Australia 1999; (p. 135-158)
C.J. Dennis Ronald McCuaig , 1951 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 8 August vol. 72 no. 3730 1951; (p. 2)
Filming a Poem Les Murray , 1990 single work criticism
— Appears in: Blocks and Tackles : articles and essays 1982 to 1990 1990; (p. 88-106) The Paperbark Tree : selected prose 1992; (p. 274-289) A Working Forest : Selected Prose 1997; (p. 330-343) The Quality of Sprawl : thoughts about Australia 1999; (p. 135-158)
C.J. Dennis Ronald McCuaig , 1951 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 8 August vol. 72 no. 3730 1951; (p. 2)
Last amended 24 Sep 2003 11:17:29
Subjects:
  • Melbourne, Victoria,
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