Analysis of The Axeman

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis 1876 (Auburn) – 1938 (Melbourne)

High on the hills, where the tall trees grow,
There lives an axeman that 1 know.
From his little hut by a ferny creek,
Day after day, week after week,
He goes each morn with his shining axe,
Trudging along by the forest tracks;
And he chops and he chops     till the daylight goes
High on the hills, where the blue-gum grows.

(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)
There's a log to move and a branch to lop.
Now to the felling!  His sharp axe bites
Into a tree on the forest heights,
And scarce for a breath does the axeman stop-
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)
Bell-birds watch him; and in the fern
Wallabies listen awhile, and turn
Back through the bracken, and off they hop.
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . -. Chop!)
Patient and tireless, blow on blow
The axeman swings as the minutes go;
While the echoes ring from the mountain-top.
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

Round about him the. rabbits play,
Skipping and scampering all the day,
And the sweet young grass by the logs they crop.
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

Crimson parrots above him climb,
The Axeman

Chattering, chattering all the time,
As down from the branches the twigs they drop.
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip!          Chop!)
Steadily, surely, on he goes,
Shaking the tree with his mighty blows:
There's never a pause and there's never a stop.
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)

Out from the bush beyond is heard
The swaggering song of the butcher-bird
Seeking a joint for his butcher's shop.
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)
Deeper and deeper the cut creeps in,
While the parrots shriek with a deafening din,
And the chips fly out with a flip and a flop.
(Chip!     Chop!       Chip!      Chop!)
Yellow robins come  flocking round,
Watching the chips  as they fall to ground,
Darting to catch the g ubs that drop.
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip!    . . Chop!)

The blows come quicker. The   axe~biade hums,
Stand well back, there, before she comes!
Hark! How the splinters crack and pop-
(Chip! . . Chop! . . Chip! . . Chop!)
Listen!  Listen!  She's creaking now!
Look, high up, at that trembling bough!
Another second, and down she'll smash,
Shaking the earth with a mighty crash;
Look at her! Look at her! (Chip!      Chop!
Chip! . . . . . . . .Chip!)
              Wee - E - E - E - E - E --

Scheme aabbccdd EeffeEggeeaaeE hheE ig ieeddeE jjeEkkeellee mmeEnnooexxe
Poetic Form
Metre 110110111 111111 111011011 11011101 111111101 100110101 0110111011 110110111 1111 1011100111 110101111 010110101 011011011 1111 11110001 100100101 110100111 1111 100100111 01110101 1010110101 1111 10110101 100100101 0011110111 1111 10100111 01 100100101 1110100111 1111 10010111 100111101 11001011001 1111 11010111 0100110101 100111101 1111 100100110 10101101001 00111101001 1111 10101101 100111111 101101111 1111 011100111 11110111 1101101 1111 10101101 111111001 010100111 100110101 11011011 11 111111 1
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,281
Words 395
Sentences 138
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 8, 14, 4, 2, 7, 12, 12
Lines Amount 59
Letters per line (avg) 27
Words per line (avg) 8
Letters per stanza (avg) 224
Words per stanza (avg) 70
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:00 min read

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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