I little while back Neil Whitfield and I were having a discussion about the "decline"/decline - the inverted commas are Neil's, the absence of them mine - in Australian literature. For those who are interested, you can find an entry point here.
One great outcome from my perspective was that Neil started a Friday Australian poem series. In response, I started writing a companion piece.
Last Friday, Neil took Kenneth Slessor's Five Bells. This is one of Australia's most famous poems. Do read it out loud.
Now this was actually a slightly difficult poem from my perspective. I first came across it at school and found it difficult. So it was many years since I had actually read it.
What to say that might be helpful?
To answer this, I started digging into the people, and especially the writers, who surrounded Kenneth Slessor, looking at the links and ideas.
I hope to write this up properly. In the meantime, a question.
One of the things that I am interested in is the differences in thought across Australia. Australia has never been a single uniform country.
In this context, why did so many Melbourne writers come (or seem to come) to Sydney in the period before the second world war? What was there about Melbourne life and society that caused this apparent shift?