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Whose Blame?

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



'A woman's work is never done,'
  Said she.
'From dawn to setting of the sun,'
  Said she.
'I toil and moil and work and slave,
And do my best to pinch and save,
And yet you say I don't behave,'
  Said she.

And twenty men in twenty carts
  In that suburban street
Long, long before the daylight starts
Are setting out with cakes and tarts
  And fish and milk and meat
And cauliflowers, beans and bread
What time my lady lies in bed.

'All day I have to live alone,'
  Said she.
'Attending to the door or 'phone,'
  Said she.
'While you go gaily into town
To meet your friends, I want a gown,
A hat! This life has got me down,'
  Said she.

And twenty men when day is done,
  In that suburban street,
Who have performed the task of one
(If things more orderly were done),
  Drive back along their beat. . .
It seems absurd. But, all the same,
Is it my lady who's to blame,
For all these economic cares,
Or just man's muddling of affairs?

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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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