Aussie Bush Writer
My biggest stroke of luck was that in Sixth Class, our Australian History teacher, Mr Beasley, had a liking for Bush (Rhyming Verse) Poetry written by the old masters; A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Henry Lawson. Mr Beasley was a very good reader of what he also called ‘Bush Verse’. As such he would have the entire class, including several incorrigible boys, ‘in the palm of his hand’ while reading the likes of; The Man from Snowy River, Mulga Bill’s Bicycle, or The Man from Ironbark, to mention just a few of ‘Banjo’ Paterson’s most popular poems.
Later in High School (now called Secondary College) we were ‘treated’ to some English poetry, such as, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, by William Wordsworth. Even most of the girls thought this was rather tame compared to Australian poetry. However, lengthy periods studying with various willing members of the class reciting The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, that poem was well received by all. Thus I had received a grounding in rhyming verse.