Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday treasures

Most Australians (particularly those of us are not so youthful any more) will recognize the names of much loved poets, "Banjo" Patterson and Henry Lawson. They were writing and being published in "The Sydney Bulletin" in the years before and after Federation. The Bulletin encouraged writers and many an item was sent, published and never heard of again. Most popular poetry was the bush ballad, telling tall tales and true of life outback in Colonial times. My great-grandfather, Robert Alexander Fairly was one of those bush poets and a considerable amount of his work appeared in the Bulletin. Sadly, he died at the relatively young age of 46, and, since he published under a pseudonym, his work was never celebrated.

As a child, I was told about my great-grandfather and my grandmother had a notebook with his hand written poems, corrections and all, which I loved to pore over. In recent times, one of my sisters who is the family historian, has done lots of amazing research and even published a book about R.A.F's life and work.

Naturally, I believe my great-grandfather's poetry to be the equal of the "Banjo" and Henry Lawson, but perhaps I'm a bit biased. Anyway, it is definitely something to treasure.
Don't forget to visit Melody to see who else is sharing today.


  1. Oh how wonderful Carolyn and so fantastic he is finally in print. Love our bush ballads and great to discover one more.

  2. This really is a true treasure. I love bush ballads and having a poet in the family is wonderful.