Sights

Leon Gellert 1892 (Australia) – 1977



I saw a singer singing to a crowd,-
Singing of laughing life,- and all the while
He sang in tones so shrilly loud,
Not one man had a smile.

I saw a fiddler from a broken plain
Playing his weeping fiddle,- sweet and clear.
He sang of Death and Cries and Pain,-
But no one shed a tear.

I saw a whistling soldier, still and wan,
Firing his rifle from a fearful place,-
But all the time a dying man
Looked long upon his face.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

27 sec read
88

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABAB CDCD XEXE
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 418
Words 92
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4

Leon Gellert

Leon Maxwell Gellert was an Australian poet. He was born in Walkerville, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. He was subjected to bullying by his father, a Methodist of Hungarian extraction, to which he reacted by learning self-defence at the YMCA. After an education at Adelaide High School, he embarked on a teaching career; first as a student-teacher at Unley High School then at the University of Adelaide's Teacher Training College. He enlisted with the Australian Imperial Forces 10th Battalion within weeks of the outbreak of the Great War and sailed for Cairo on 22 October 1914. He landed at Ari Burnu Beach, Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, was wounded and repatriated as medically unfit in June 1916. He attempted to re-enlist but was soon found out. He returned to teaching at Norwood Public School. During periods of inactivity he had been indulging his appetite for writing poetry. Songs of a Campaign was his first published book of verse, and was favourably reviewed by The Bulletin. Angus & Robertson soon published a new edition, illustrated by Norman Lindsay. His second, The Isle of San, also illustrated by Lindsay, was not so well received however. more…

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