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y separately published work icon A Drum for Ben Boyd sequence   poetry  
Issue Details: First known date: 1948... 1948 A Drum for Ben Boyd
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Notes

  • Author's note: 'Benjamin Boyd, a Scotsman, came to New South Wales in 1848. Possessing either unlimited wealth or unlimited credit, he invaded the financial system of the colony with amazing ease, winning over many incautious speculators, founding banks, and actually building his own town at Twofold Bay. His brief career almost ended in bankruptcy, and finally he disappeared on a lone shooting expedition at Guadalcanal. The Oberon, chartered to discover some trace of him, returned with a skull, which was later proved to be that of a native.'
  • A poem in fifteen numbered parts, some with titles.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,:Angus and Robertson , 1948 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
'From Our Roving Reporter'i"Well, friends, after a very trying fortnight", Francis Webb , 1948 single work poetry (p. 1-2, 4-5)
Author's Prologuei"Light quakes over the city, contracts, drives on:", Francis Webb , 1947 single work poetry Author's prologue : A Drum for Ben Boyd, Part Two (p. 7-9)
Untitledi"1842. An immense shaking of the sun", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 11)
A Boat Builderi"I, Jan Strindberg, boat-builder from Vossvangen,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 13-14)
Journalisti"A new ship's in, dirt-cheap at sixpence per line,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 15-16)
Untitledi"Ringed with a million sterling, the name of Boyd", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 17)
Sir Oswald Brierlyi"You will not find me lurking in the shadows", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 19)
A Whaleri"A dressed-up ape with a patronising stick", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 21-22)
A Papuan Shepherdi"Through the thick morning steam they took shape,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 23-24)
Untitledi"Brierly dreams of a studio,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 25)
Politiciani"This is a good man for a colony like ours,", Francis Webb , 1948 single work poetry (p. 27)
A Pioneer of Monaroi"I have loved two things deeply: the earth and silence,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 29)
Untitledi"After the groups at corners, the upraised fist,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 31)
The Captain of the Oberoni"I had never before held death, pale and polished, in my hands,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 33-34)
John Websteri"Perhaps I foresaw the future of this last voyage,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry (p. 35-37)

Includes

Author's Prologue i "Light quakes over the city, contracts, drives on:", Francis Webb , 1947 single work poetry
— Appears in: Australian Poetry, 1946 1947; (p. 13-15) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 7-9) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 19-21) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 42-43) Legionary Ants and Other Poems 2008; (p. 4-5)
Untitled i "1842. An immense shaking of the sun", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 3 July vol. 67 no. 3464 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 11) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 21) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 43-44)
A Boat Builder i "I, Jan Strindberg, boat-builder from Vossvangen,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 3 July vol. 67 no. 3464 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 13-14) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 22) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 44-45)
Journalist i "A new ship's in, dirt-cheap at sixpence per line,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 3 July vol. 67 no. 3464 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 15-16) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 23) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 45)
Untitled i "Ringed with a million sterling, the name of Boyd", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 3 July vol. 67 no. 3464 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 17) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 23) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 45-46)
Sir Oswald Brierly i "You will not find me lurking in the shadows", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 10 July vol. 67 no. 3465 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 19) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 23-25) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 46-47)
A Whaler i "A dressed-up ape with a patronising stick", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 10 July vol. 67 no. 3465 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 21-22) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 25) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 47-48)
A Papuan Shepherd i "Through the thick morning steam they took shape,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 10 July vol. 67 no. 3465 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 23-24) Modern Australian Verse 1964; (p. 183-184) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 26) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 48)
Untitled i "Brierly dreams of a studio,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 10 July vol. 67 no. 3465 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 25) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 26-27) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 49)
Politician i "This is a good man for a colony like ours,", Francis Webb , 1948 single work poetry
— Appears in: A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 27) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 27) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 49-50)
A Pioneer of Monaro i "I have loved two things deeply: the earth and silence,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 17 July vol. 67 no. 3466 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 29) Modern Australian Poetry [1946] 1952; (p. 10) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 27-28) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 50-51)
Untitled i "After the groups at corners, the upraised fist,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 17 July vol. 67 no. 3466 1946; (p. 2) Australian Poetry, 1946 1947; (p. 15-17) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 31) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 28-29) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 51)
The Captain of the Oberon i "I had never before held death, pale and polished, in my hands,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 17 July vol. 67 no. 3466 1946; (p. 2) Poets of Australia : An Anthology of Australian Verse 1946; (p. 374) Australian Poetry, 1946 1947; (p. 17-18) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 33-34) An Anthology of Australian Verse 1952; (p. 374) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 29-30)
John Webster i "Perhaps I foresaw the future of this last voyage,", Francis Webb , 1946 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 17 July vol. 67 no. 3466 1946; (p. 2) A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 35-37) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 30-31) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 53-54)
'From Our Roving Reporter' i "Well, friends, after a very trying fortnight", Francis Webb , 1948 single work poetry
— Appears in: A Drum for Ben Boyd 1948; (p. 1-2, 4-5) Collected Poems 1969; (p. 17-19) Cap and Bells : The Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 39-41)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

A Waterhole, Fishermen and Ben Boyd T. Inglis Moore , single work review
— Review of A Drum for Ben Boyd Francis Webb , 1948 sequence poetry
Spotlight on Francis Webb Robert Adamson , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Poetry Journal , vol. 2 no. 2 2012; (p. 65-66)
Francis Webb burst onto the Australian poetry scene in 1948 with his first book, A Drum for Ben Boyd. He followed this with Leichhardt in Theatre three years later. Right from the start it was impossible to ignore him. The poem 'Morgan's Country' - an inner-portrait of Dan 'mad-dog' Morgan in which Webb seems to enter the outlaw's consciousness - is an innovative work that ran against the grain for an Australian poem in 1950. However, instead of embellishing a bushranger myth as Nolan did with his images of Ned Kelly, Webb strips away traces of narrative and then focuses on tiny details in a filmic way: 'At the window sill/ A blowfly strums on two strings of air'. (Author's introduction 65)
Tracing the Spectre of Death in Francis Webb's Last Poems Bernadette Brennan , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , no. 9 2009;

'In much of Francis Webb's poetry "the tale brings death" ("A Drum for Ben Boyd") but death remains largely off-stage. The poetry eschews the space of death and seems unwilling to explore the possibility of nothingness. There is a significant change, however, that is particularly noticeable in Webb's last three published poems. This paper focuses on the naming of death in "Sturt and the Vultures" but it traces first a progression in Webb's poetry - from "A Death at Winson Green" through "Socrates" and "Rondo Burleske: Mahler's Ninth" - in which the poet seems increasingly ready to contemplate the possibilities of the void.'

'The Tiny Not the Immense' : Francis Webb and the Location of the Sacred Bill Ashcroft , Frances Devlin-Glass , Lyn McCredden , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Intimate Horizons : The Post-Colonial Sacred in Australian Literature 2009; (p. 69-103)
Francis Webb's White Swan of Trespass : A Drum for Ben Boyd and Australian Modernism in the 1940s Andrew Lynch , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Journal of Commonwealth Literature , vol. 36 no. 1 2001; (p. 27-43)
Argues that analysis of Australian poetic modernism in the 1940s has centred too much on the Ern Malley hoax. The essay attempts to redress this imbalance of attention in the history of Australian modernism, through a discussion of Webb's first major work.
[Review] Pacific Sea [et al] Michael Thwaites , 1948 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Spring vol. 7 no. 3 1948; (p. 202-203)

— Review of Pacific Sea Nan McDonald , 1947 selected work poetry ; A Drum for Ben Boyd Francis Webb , 1948 sequence poetry ; Beware the Cuckoo and Other Poems Ernest G. Moll , 1947 selected work poetry ; Glencoe Douglas Stewart , 1940-1949 single work poetry ; Wind from Caribbee : Poems Edna Tredinnick , 1948 selected work poetry
Of Ben Boyd and the Sea S.H.O'L. , 1948 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3 July 1948; (p. 8)

— Review of Songs of the East Coast Val Vallis , 1947 selected work poetry ; A Drum for Ben Boyd Francis Webb , 1948 sequence poetry
Ocean, Fire and Time Muir Holburn , 1949 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 10 no. 1 1949; (p. 49-53)

— Review of Songs of the East Coast Val Vallis , 1947 selected work poetry ; A Drum for Ben Boyd Francis Webb , 1948 sequence poetry ; Beware the Cuckoo and Other Poems Ernest G. Moll , 1947 selected work poetry ; The Waterhole : A Poem Ernest G. Moll , 1948 sequence poetry ; The Secret Fire : Poems 'Mary Lisle' , 1947 selected work poetry
A Waterhole, Fishermen and Ben Boyd T. Inglis Moore , single work review
— Review of A Drum for Ben Boyd Francis Webb , 1948 sequence poetry
An Australian Epic Douglas Stewart , 1948 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 19 May vol. 69 no. 3562 1948; (p. 2)

— Review of A Drum for Ben Boyd Francis Webb , 1948 sequence poetry
'The Tiny Not the Immense' : Francis Webb and the Location of the Sacred Bill Ashcroft , Frances Devlin-Glass , Lyn McCredden , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Intimate Horizons : The Post-Colonial Sacred in Australian Literature 2009; (p. 69-103)
Tracing the Spectre of Death in Francis Webb's Last Poems Bernadette Brennan , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , no. 9 2009;

'In much of Francis Webb's poetry "the tale brings death" ("A Drum for Ben Boyd") but death remains largely off-stage. The poetry eschews the space of death and seems unwilling to explore the possibility of nothingness. There is a significant change, however, that is particularly noticeable in Webb's last three published poems. This paper focuses on the naming of death in "Sturt and the Vultures" but it traces first a progression in Webb's poetry - from "A Death at Winson Green" through "Socrates" and "Rondo Burleske: Mahler's Ninth" - in which the poet seems increasingly ready to contemplate the possibilities of the void.'

Spotlight on Francis Webb Robert Adamson , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Poetry Journal , vol. 2 no. 2 2012; (p. 65-66)
Francis Webb burst onto the Australian poetry scene in 1948 with his first book, A Drum for Ben Boyd. He followed this with Leichhardt in Theatre three years later. Right from the start it was impossible to ignore him. The poem 'Morgan's Country' - an inner-portrait of Dan 'mad-dog' Morgan in which Webb seems to enter the outlaw's consciousness - is an innovative work that ran against the grain for an Australian poem in 1950. However, instead of embellishing a bushranger myth as Nolan did with his images of Ned Kelly, Webb strips away traces of narrative and then focuses on tiny details in a filmic way: 'At the window sill/ A blowfly strums on two strings of air'. (Author's introduction 65)
The Thematic of History in Francis Webb's Poetry James Paull , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: New Literatures Review , Winter South no. 26 1993; (p. 58-67)
Palace of Dreams (1925-1945) Michael Joseph Griffith , 1991 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: God's Fool : The Life and Poetry of Francis Webb 1991; (p. 10-44)
Last amended 25 Oct 2017 07:48:08
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