The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke
by C.J. Dennis
C. J. Dennis, (1876 - 1938) was an Australian poet famous for his humorous poems, especially "The Sentimental Bloke", published in 1916.
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At the age of 19 he was employed as a solicitor's clerk. It was while he was working in this job that, like banker's clerk Banjo Paterson before him, his first poem was published. He later went on to publish in The Bulletin, as Paterson and Henry Lawson had also done. The three are often considered Australia's three most famous poets; though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1916 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.
The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke and numerous spin-offs published subsequently related the everyday adventures of the title character Bill, his girl Doreen, his friend Ginger Mick, and other characters. The poems are written in dialect, and present the Sentimental Bloke as a typical larrikin.
Even today, The Sentimental Bloke is unlike most of the other poetry you have read. Henry Lawson said in his introduction: "The exquisite humour of The Sentimental Bloke speaks for itself; but there's a danger that its brilliance may obscure the rest ...
In case you might need it, there is a glossery of slang at the end of the book.
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