The Sentimental Bloke : The Play single work   poetry   humour   ""Wot's in a name?" she sez....And then she sighs,"
  • Author: C. J. Dennis http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/dennis-c-j-clarence-james
Issue Details: First known date: 1914 1914
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: The Play
Notes:
Minor title variations appear in texts
  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin vol. 35 no. 1796 16 July 1914 Z610608 1914 periodical issue 1914 pg. 47
  • 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. 39-43
  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin vol. 71 no. 3651 1 February 1950 Z593035 1950 periodical issue 1950 pg. 30
  • Appears in:
    y An Anthology of Australian Verse George Mackaness (editor), Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1952 6472657 1952 anthology poetry Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1952 pg. 57-60
  • Appears in:
    y Favourite Australian Poems Ian Mudie (editor), Adelaide : Rigby , 1963 Z337064 1963 anthology poetry humour Adelaide : Rigby , 1963 pg. 40-44
  • Appears in:
    y From the Ballads to Brennan T. Inglis Moore (editor), Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1964 Z407973 1964 anthology poetry Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1964 pg. 145-149
    Note: With title: The Play
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Kaleidoscope Barbara Ker Wilson (editor), Sydney : Collins , 1968 Z456759 1968 anthology prose poetry young adult Sydney : Collins , 1968 pg. 50-53
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Verse from 1805 : A Continuum Geoffrey Dutton (editor), Adelaide : Rigby , 1976 Z399014 1976 anthology Adelaide : Rigby , 1976 pg. 108-110
  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin vol. 101 no. 5196 29 January 1980 Z590843 1980 periodical issue 1980 pg. 283-284
  • Appears in:
    y The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse Beatrice Davis , Melbourne : Nelson , 1984 Z315151 1984 anthology poetry biography Melbourne : Nelson , 1984 pg. 102-105
  • Appears in:
    y The Bulletin vol. 108 no. 5550 23-30 December 1986 Z595571 1986 periodical issue 1986 pg. 144-145
  • 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. 29-31
  • 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. 14-17
  • Appears in:
    y The Language of Love : An Anthology of Australian Love Letters, Poetry and Prose Pamela Allardice (editor), North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1991 Z210336 1991 anthology short story poetry correspondence humour North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1991 pg. 82-85
  • 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. 285-288
  • Appears in:
    y The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse Beatrice Davis , Melbourne : Nelson , 1984 Z315151 1984 anthology poetry biography Sydney : State Library of New South Wales Press , 1996 pg. 102-105
  • Appears in:
    y Bugger the Music, Give us a Poem! Keith McKenry , Sydney : ABC Audio , 1998 Z1275972 1998 anthology poetry Sydney : ABC Audio , 1998
  • Appears in:
    y Our Country : Classic Australian Poetry : From the Colonial Ballads to Paterson & Lawson Michael Cook (editor), Seven Hills : Little Hills Press , 2004 Z1266972 2004 anthology poetry Seven Hills : Little Hills Press , 2004 pg. 137-140
  • 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 Two Centuries of Australian Poetry Kathrine Bell (editor), Smithfield : Gary Allen , 2007 Z1472336 2007 anthology poetry Smithfield : Gary Allen , 2007 pg. 159-161
    Note: With title: The Play
  • Appears in:
    y Sixty Classic Australian Poems Geoff Page , Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2009 Z1570296 2009 single work criticism (taught in 3 units) 'This is a superb introduction to poetry from the nineteenth century to the present. With insight and insider knowledge, poet Geoff Page emphasises the contribution made by the notable generation of Australian poets who emerged during and just after World War II. It includes several contemporary poems which are likely to become classics in the near future. Each poem is followed by a short, lively essay discussing its merits and suggesting why it might be considered a classic.' (Publisher's blurb) Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2009 pg. 47-50
  • Appears in:
    y The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry John Leonard (editor), Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2009 Z1674214 2009 anthology poetry (taught in 16 units) Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2009 pg. 344-347
  • Appears in:
    y The Sentimental Bloke, The Poems of C. J. Dennis C. J. Dennis , Jack Thompson , Coogee : FinePoets , 2010 Z1669537 2010 selected work poetry Coogee : FinePoets , 2010
  • Appears in:
    y 100 Australian Poems of Love and Loss Jamie Grant (editor), Prahran : Hardie Grant Books , 2011 Z1758937 2011 anthology poetry Prahran : Hardie Grant Books , 2011 pg. 53-55
    Note: With title: The Play
  • Appears in:
    y Jack Thompson: Live at the Gearin Hotel Jack Thompson , Coogee : FinePoets , 2011 Z1800406 2011 anthology poetry Coogee : FinePoets , 2011
  • 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. 191-193

Works about this Work

The All-Singing, All Dancing Bloke : The After-Lifes of C.J. Dennis' 'Songs of the Sentimental Bloke' Philip Butterss , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 146-153)
C. J. Dennis (1876-1938): 'The Play' Geoff Page , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sixty Classic Australian Poems 2009; (p. 51-53)
ReVerse Geoff Page , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 10 March 2007; (p. 18)
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)
Twelve Australian Books That Should Be in Every Australian Home Mary Gilmore , George Mackaness , Frederick T. Macartney , 1937 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 10 November vol. 9 no. 11 1937; (p. 172)

— Review of The Singing Gold Dorothy Cottrell 1927 single work novel ; Landtakers : The Story of an Epoch Brian Penton 1934 single work novel ; Confessions of a Beachcomber E. J. Banfield 1908 extract autobiography ; The Sentimental Bloke : The Play C. J. Dennis 1914 single work poetry ; Songs of a Campaign Leon Gellert 1917 selected work poetry ; Heart of Spring John Shaw Neilson 1919 selected work poetry ; Satyrs and Sunlight : Being the Collected Poetry of Hugh McCrae Hugh McCrae 1928 selected work poetry ; His Natural Life Marcus Clarke 1870-1872 single work novel ; The Pearl and the Octopus, and Other Exercises in Prose and Verse Alfred George Stephens 1911 selected work short story poetry ; Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel ; Flynn of the Inland Ion L. Idriess 1932 single work biography ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel ; Man-Shy Frank Dalby Davison 1934 extract novel ; We of the Never-Never Mrs Aeneas Gunn 1908 single work novel ; Speaking Personally Walter Murdoch 1930 selected work essay ; Best Australian One-Act Plays 1937 anthology drama ; The Wide Brown Land : A New Anthology of Australian Verse 1934 anthology poetry ; The Magic Pudding Second Slice : Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and His Friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff Norman Lindsay 1971 extract children's fiction ; Separate Lives Vance Palmer 1931 selected work short story ; Modern Australian Literature, 1900-1923 Nettie Palmer 1924 single work criticism
Untitled 1915 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 15 November 1915; (p. 77)

— Review of The Sentimental Bloke : The Play C. J. Dennis 1914 single work poetry
Twelve Australian Books That Should Be in Every Australian Home Mary Gilmore , George Mackaness , Frederick T. Macartney , 1937 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 10 November vol. 9 no. 11 1937; (p. 172)

— Review of The Singing Gold Dorothy Cottrell 1927 single work novel ; Landtakers : The Story of an Epoch Brian Penton 1934 single work novel ; Confessions of a Beachcomber E. J. Banfield 1908 extract autobiography ; The Sentimental Bloke : The Play C. J. Dennis 1914 single work poetry ; Songs of a Campaign Leon Gellert 1917 selected work poetry ; Heart of Spring John Shaw Neilson 1919 selected work poetry ; Satyrs and Sunlight : Being the Collected Poetry of Hugh McCrae Hugh McCrae 1928 selected work poetry ; His Natural Life Marcus Clarke 1870-1872 single work novel ; The Pearl and the Octopus, and Other Exercises in Prose and Verse Alfred George Stephens 1911 selected work short story poetry ; Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel ; Flynn of the Inland Ion L. Idriess 1932 single work biography ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel ; Man-Shy Frank Dalby Davison 1934 extract novel ; We of the Never-Never Mrs Aeneas Gunn 1908 single work novel ; Speaking Personally Walter Murdoch 1930 selected work essay ; Best Australian One-Act Plays 1937 anthology drama ; The Wide Brown Land : A New Anthology of Australian Verse 1934 anthology poetry ; The Magic Pudding Second Slice : Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and His Friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff Norman Lindsay 1971 extract children's fiction ; Separate Lives Vance Palmer 1931 selected work short story ; Modern Australian Literature, 1900-1923 Nettie Palmer 1924 single work criticism
Untitled 1915 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 15 November 1915; (p. 77)

— Review of The Sentimental Bloke : The Play C. J. Dennis 1914 single work poetry
ReVerse Geoff Page , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 10 March 2007; (p. 18)
C. J. Dennis (1876-1938): 'The Play' Geoff Page , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sixty Classic Australian Poems 2009; (p. 51-53)
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)
The All-Singing, All Dancing Bloke : The After-Lifes of C.J. Dennis' 'Songs of the Sentimental Bloke' Philip Butterss , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 146-153)
Last amended 18 Nov 2013 10:33:06
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