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A Letter From England

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

Dear Boy
As it appears to us old fogeys
If you'll excuse the term that we adopt
You and your battery of bowling bogeys
Seem to have come a rather nasty flop.
Psychology, you know, and moral suasion,
And all these fine nuances of the game
Appear to us, at least on this occasion,
To have been, so to speak, a trifle tame.

We would not be too hard; we know your task is
Sterner than we supposed when you set out
Avoiding criticism, all we ask is.
Please dropp 'shock tactics' and cut 'stunting' out.
Try to avoid a batting ace with roots on,
Like Don's, to keep him at the crease, old chap;
Use only bowlers who can keep their boots on,
And, please, please don't count too much on that cap.

If you think it would make your prospects brighter
And help the boys to bring those Ashes back,
We'll waive that rule about the player-writer
So that you may consider using Jack.
Take his advice, my boy; he knows the Aussie
And all his tricks. So, trusting you will be
On this day fortnight in a better 'possie,'
Your ever hopeful Auntie,

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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