Public Affairs & Politics

One way in which poetry has changed in Queensland since 1859, is that then, poetry was much more an instrument of public communication than it is now. If there was an issue of current concern, one way it would be voiced was by the publication of a poem on the subject. Click on the poem titles below to read some of the poems of time and of politics that were published by Queensland poets up to 1959.

  • "Damitall" 1917

    by Thomas G Rabbets    The embargo on the use of the hose to water gardens and flowers has been lifted by the Water Board. At Tuesday's meeting it was...

  • A Chance 1847

    I want a situation as a shepherd, be it known, On a comfortable station--not too far from town; (For I like a little shooting), and the blacks...

  • A Flight across the Sea 1848

    by Eva Mary O'Doherty    The voices of the spring are calling Among the green hills far away; The flitting lights and shades are falling O’er skies of soft...

  • An Every-day Angel. 1898

      [WRITTEN FOR THE 'WORKER.']   They say that the angels are with us As ever we come and go; Unseen they hover around us Noiseless, and soft, and slow. But...

  • Ave Labor! 1988

    Ave, Labor!          Written for the Worker.   Ye famed musicians, hearken, And you, earth's singers sweet, Who sound your wondrous music, In the homes of 'the...

  • Crabs 1896

    by Arthur Bayldon    (On a Queensland Beach)   Poisonous, bloated, crab-like shapes Crawl in gangs around these capes- Stopping here and feeding there, Fighting...

  • Katie Jackson 1893

    by Mary Hannay Foott    Drowned In The Flood Of February, 1893 At Blackwall, Near Ipswich, Aged 19 Years Have you heard of Katie Jackson, Our...

  • Man Digging in Queen St 1930

    by Francis Kenna    I often wonder what they see The crowd of people in the street, Who stand around a man at work, With pick and shovel in the heat. You...

  • Our True Men 1848

    by Eva Mary O'Doherty    Our true men! our true men! We proudly sing them all, In felon's chain, across the main, Despite of tyrant thrall. Our true...

  • Prickly Pear 1941

    by James Picot    The smashed and tumbling trunks litter the plains;Their wooden antlers pierce the fleshy leaves Of prickly pear clumps, and a ruby...

  • Sonnet 1932

    by Edgar Holt   Why do you listen, watcher? Do you hear, rising above the urgent voice of pain, above the babble of the world, a clear, unbroken...

  • South Brisbane and the automatic telephone 1923

    by Maurice Little      The people on the southern side, Are feeling most elated, So where you will, you’re bound to hear Their new Exchange debated; It’s...

  • The Brisbane Centenary 1925

      by Colin Bingham    University Prize Poem, 1924                               I. A hundred year ago the tireless tide, That rose and fell between unquarried banks, Felt on its...

  • The Famine in Ireland, 1879-80 1880

    by James Brunton Stephens    fromThe Famine in Ireland, 1879-80 They shall not perish! Not if help can save Our hunger-stricken brethren from the...

  • The Gentle Anarchist 1888

    by James Brunton Stephens    I am a gentle Anarchist, I couldn't kick a dog, Nor ever would for sport assist To pelt the helpless frog. I'd shoot a...

  • The Nation Builders 1906

    by George Essex Evans    A handful of workers seeking the star of a strong intent – A handful of heroes scattered to conquer a continent- Thirst, and...

  • The Pleasant future of Jones 1941

    by Brian Vrepont    A captain of politico-industry is observing the city traffic in a reflector gadget on his desk. He shouts into a box. "Quick,...

  • Tinsel 1938

    by June Saunders    From Tinsel…Tinsel (The scene, a university ball, ca 1938) Bright eyes has Folly, lips that laugh and lure‑ At eight! . . . Dinner at...