A selection of published and previously unpublished verse 'representative of the best short poems written by Australians or inspired by Australian scenery and conditions of life, - "Australian" in this connection being used to include New Zealand.' (Introduction, p. vii)
Includes biographical information on the poets and notes on individual poems.
Poems by New Zealand poets not individually indexed.
* Contents derived from the Sydney,:Angus and Robertson,1907 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Stevens' critical introduction describes the growth of Australian poetry. He traces it from the early days of European settlement - characterised by particular challenges to artistic culture -to a point where, by the turn of the twentieth century, Australia had become a 'vigorous, restless, democracy', with strong and distinctive new writings. He highlights three main periods : the early colonial period of works by W.C. Wentworth, Charles Harpur and Henry Parkes; the turbulent 'gold rush' years, of poets such as Kendall and Gordon; and the years after Kendall's death, in which Lawson and Paterson, among others, became widely loved for their realistic, enduring, and 'distinctively Australian' verse.
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Editor's note: 'Other than adding "Banjo" to the lines containing Paterson's name, the only noteworthy changes made to the text were in format, including standardizing the names and titles in the table of contents with those in the text; and in the "Notes" section, where references to page numbers have been replaced with the name of the poet and poem to which the notes refer. This anthology was first published in 1907.'