Commentary and illustrations by Robert Ingpen.
From the cover: To mark the 150th birthday of Banjo Paterson, award-winning illustrator Robert Ingpen journeys into the Australian outback through words and inspiring illustrations to find what has made Clancy such an enduring figure in Australian folklore.
“I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just ‘on spec’, addressed as follows, ‘Clancy of the Overflow’.
Ssshhhh ... don’t tell anyone, but this my secret vice. I LOVE Aussie bush poetry! I am totally seduced by the cadence and metre which is something you just don’t get these days. Somehow, somewhere, the intelligentsia – whomever the hell they think they are - decreed that poetry should not rhyme; it should be bleak and miserable, dark and so unfathomable that you could end up with serious brain injury just trying to make sense of it! Ha ha, what a load of egotistical wankerism. Grab this beautifully illustrated book, read about the places you’ve only ever heard about in history lessons, glory at what is being done to preserve them today – like the High Country refuge huts being restored by the Kosciuszko Huts Association, and get yourself in the groove ...
“Oh! There once was a swagman camped in the Billabong,
Under the shade of a Coolabah tree;
And he sang as he looked at his old billy boiling,
Who’ll come a Waltzing Matilda with me?”
(groan ... how many of us ever sing those words correctly?!)