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Disputed Boundaries

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

Taste? Good taste? It's been argued before,
But not many agree on it yet.
Much that A may condone B may deeply deplore;
So by whom is the standard set?
Are you thinking of jazz of the infantile kind
That predominates much of the day?
I am not high of brow, but I really don't mind
If you're cutting that out - Hurray!

If you must oscillate between brows that are high
And brows most deplorably low,
Then what of the midbrows who languish and sighFor melodious classics they know?
Is there never a mean twixt the music of Brahms
And the saccharine saxophone's bray?
For Cora loathes crooning, but Susie hates psalms,
Are you cutting out both? Hurray!

Taste? Whose taste? It is hard to define,
If my preference must be confessed,
I am partial to Schubert and Hubert in mine.
Ah, but what about all of the rest?
And what of announcers who drawl in a pained
And a 'fraightfully B.B.C.' way?
If you must please your public, and still keep 'refained,'
Are you carpeting these? Hurray!

When the McIntyre rises at Yetman, no doubt
There are multitudes thrilled to the core;
But thousands, arising in wrath, count you out,
If that shuts off the cricketing score.
Do you think it is right, when you mention the price
Of fat stock, to refer in that way
To the sex of the beast? Do you think it is nice?
Oh, you're now closing down? Hurray!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:16 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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