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Dame Mary Gilmore Biography

(1865–1962), Bulletin, Marri'd and Other Verses, The Passionate Heart, The Tilted Cart

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Ellen Gilchrist Biography to Grain

Australian poet, born in New South Wales. After a childhood spent in the bush, she taught in mining towns and in Sydney, and became involved with contemporary radical movements. Her poetry first appeared in Bulletin from 1903 onwards, and in 1912 she published her first collection, Marri'd and Other Verses. This was followed by numerous others, including The Passionate Heart (1918), an indictment of war; The Tilted Cart (1925); The Wild Swan (1930); and Under the Wilgas (1932), in all of which she combined short, lyrical poems with polemical outbursts against injustice and inhumanity. Battle-fields (1939) contains her most strongly radical verse. Her last volume, Fourteen Men (1954), published when she was almost 90, offers her calm reflections on death. She also published two volumes of reminiscences and anecdotes, Old Days: Old Ways (1934) and More Recollections (1935), both of which express her love of the Australian landscape and her concern for the Aboriginal people. She was created a Dame for her services to literature and society in 1936.

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