A Blind Man in the Street

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



'He's blind,' we say.  Then turn aside
Upon our way, again to view
Familiar things - some prospect wide,
Some olden scene for ever new.
Heedless we pass along, and soon
The groping figure's out of mind,
Lost in the sunlit afternoon.
'Poor chap, he's blind.'

Slowly he taps along the street,
Pitch black beneath our smiling skies:
While ours the boon again to greet
New scenes with ever thoughtless eyes.
Thoughtless indeed if, passing, we
Grudge thanks for this most precious sense.
He asks of us - not sympathy
But recompence.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

29 sec read
55

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCDCD EFEFGXGF
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 521
Words 96
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 8, 8

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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