'Traces the genealogy of Australian poetry, from inception to present times. In the course of the study of Australian verse it focuses on the diametrically opposed thematic concerns of two poets.
The first of them, Kenneth Slessor, whose nihilism is all pervading, is treated as one of Australia's first modern poets. His work is a composite of antithetical elements that co-exist to reveal complex interfaces between the inner emergence of an artistic moment and the external experience of a verbal poetic artifact that disturbs and fascinates.
Les Murray contrastingly, writing in the comic vein, examines and interrogates issues associated with Australian society, the land and its inhabitants. He presents the reader with definite parameters of what falls within the umbrella of Australian-ness.
The study of Slessor and Murray's poetry has been perceived from an Indian's perspective, eliciting from a personal repertoire of cultural and philosophical heritage. Thereby, the book is peppered with spontaneous observations of the author which are inserted whenever Slessor and Murray evoke reflections of Indian thought.' (vii-viii)