Henry Lawson: Favourite verse
Nelson, 182p., illus.
I think it was Judith Wright who once remarked that Lawson as a poet wasn’t important; that he seems, usually to have turned to verse as a journalistic medium or as a weapon for propaganda, and that the few of his better poems were such rather because of the intensity of feeling than through any technical or poetic gift.
Nancy Keesing, in a succinct preface to her selection, looks at the matter from another angle. She reminds us that around the turn of this century most Australian readers regarded Henry Lawson as a great poet, noting that his ‘Australian kind’ of popular verse had parallels in the ballads and narrative verse of Kipling, of Robert Service in Canada and of Bret Harte in America. In each case the verse stemmed from man’s battle with a strange and hostile environment.