Care Free Bloke's Cigar

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



There's a little spark and a wisp of smoke
By the road where the tall gums are;
And a mile away a care-free bloke
Speeds onward in his car.
No thought of evil mars his day,
And he's well a hundred miles away
And safe at home, as skies grow grey,
With another fine cigar.

There's a spurt of flame in the breathless night
And a crackling in the scrub;
There's a withered mint-bush burning bright,
And a kindling dog-wood shrub.
For yards about the bush glows red
But the care-free bloke, his paper read,
Says, 'Bonzer day.  And now for bed
After a bite of grub.'

There's a sickening roar as the fire sweeps down
From the mountainside aflame
On the helpless little forest town,
And one knew how it came.
Ten miles of blackened hills gape wide
And a stricken home on the mountain side ...
But the care-free bloke toils on in pride.
He saw no spark by the bush roadside,
So how is he to blame?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 14, 2023

52 sec read
125

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCCCB DEDEFFFE GHGHIIIIH
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 872
Words 172
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 9

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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