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The Dove Has A Word

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



With a sprig in my beak, I repeatedly seek
For a spot where a poor bird may rest,
While tumultuous man strives in vain for a plan
That may build me a permanent nest.
But I'm sick of this search. All I ask is a perch
In a cope, neither gaudy nor grand;
And they need me, they say in a 'passionate' way;
But as soon as I venture to land
There's a clashing of scabbards; a barking of dogs
And I'm off once again to the ambient fogs.

I'd a job long ago - for old Noah, you know
And I hadn't much trouble with that.
But this mechanised age makes the searching a rage
For a synthetic Mont Ararat.
I have sought me a home o'er Locarno and Rome,
O'er Geneva, week after drear week;
I have hovered and wheeled and while the nations appealed
But as soon as a haven I seek
There's a beating of drums, and a yelling of fear,
And I'm off once again to the calm stratosphere.

And now sounds a cooing, a tentative wooing,
Where Italy's olive groves gleam
And they press a bland oil from the fruits of their soil.
Is it olive they offer? Or, wait - they proffer
That oil named for Pollux's twin
That unguent, whose use 'mid Rome's rashly obtsue,
Helped the Fascist ideal to win?
If 'tis this, I am off to the cradle of stars
For a home with old bluff, unequivocal Mars!

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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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