Neilson at his best stands unsurpassed in modern English-speaking poetry, and he can take his rightful place in company with the finest lyricists of all English literature. - Tom Inglis Moore *** John Shaw Neilson received only a basic education, yet he became one of Australia's best poets. He was born at Penola, South Australia, on February 22, 1872. Raised by a family of poor laborers, Neilson worked as a farm hand. In 1893, he won a national poetry prize, and, as a young man, he contributed to various publications, gathering both critical and commercial praise across Australia. In 1919, following World War I, Neilson published his first full collection, Heart of Spring, to widespread acclaim, and followed it in 1923 with another collection, Ballad and Lyrical Poems. In 1927, he published New Poems, and in 1934 the first Collected Poems appeared. His last collection, Beauty Imposes, published in 1938, was lauded by literary critics and led Robert FitzGerald to remark that "no other Australian poet has Neilson's skill with words and rhythms." Vivian Smith called him "the foremost poet of his generation." Often regarded as the first post-Federation Australian poet, alongside the likes of Christopher Brennan and Mary Gilmore, John Shaw Neilson's legacy of a lifetime's work has influenced contemporary poets, such as Judith Wright and Robert Gray, and remains as powerful today as it ever was. This book is the definitive collection of Neilson's body of work and belongs in every library. "...an impressive anthology and highly recommended for academic library poetry collections and personal reading lists". The Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch, November 2012, The Poetry Shelf.
Literature & Fiction, Poetry, Australia & Oceania,