Mr John Clarke

For many years it was assumed that poetry came from England. Research now clearly demonstrates, however, that a great many of the world’s most famous poets were Australian. This project puts on record the wealth of imagery in Australian verse.

This rare collection is available in the Shop. Selected recordings can be heard below, using the ear-trumpet provided

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John was on ABC Radio National this morning talking about one of his favourite love poems. You can listen here or download it here.

The poem he selected was ‘For A Father’ by Anthony Cronin. The text follows.

With the exact length and pace of his father’s stride
The son walks,
Echoes and intonations of his father’s speech
Are heard when he talks.

Once when the table was tall and the chair a wood
He absorbed his father’s smile
And carefully copied the way that he stood.

He grew into exile slowly
With pride and remorse,
In some way better than his begetters,
In others worse.

And now having chosen, with strangers,
Half glad of his choice
He smiles with his father’s hesitant smile
And speaks with his voice.


Video, audio, scripts

Digital Download - The CD of The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse

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Clive James and John Clarke at the Melbourne Writers Festival 2007

Clive James and John Clarke were recorded in conversation on the topic of the poetry of W.H. Auden at the Melbourne Writers Festival on August 25th 2007. Here is the recording of that conversation.

Poems read are:

  • Taller Today, we remember similar evenings (1928)

  • Letter to Lord Byron (1937)

  • September 1 1939 (1939)

  • Musée des Beaux Arts (1938)

  • In Memory of W.B. Yeats (1939)

Recorded and broadcast by ABC Radio.


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