'The first period begins with Bernard O'Dowd's 'Australia'. Written in 1903, it's a portentous myth-infested sonnet pondering the future of the country. The First World War dominates the period and is reflected in the poems of Leon Gellert, Vance Palmer, and Frederick Manning. Populist verse is represented by Dorothea Mackellar's 'My Country' (written when she was nineteen) and an excerpt from C.J Dennis's The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, first published in 1915 with enormous success (it was reprinted five times in three months.) This vernacular romance is an early attempt to capture the Australian slang of the city larrikin for an Australian audience. A notable curiosity is 'Night Ride' by Zora Cross, a woman whose sexual freedom scandalized the Sydney of the 1920's.'
(Source: PoeticA website, ABC Radio National, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/poetica/stories/s281149.htm)