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Douglas Stewart Biography

(1913–85), Bulletin, Green Lions, The White Cry, Elegy for an Airman, Sonnets to the Unknown Soldier

New Zealand poet, born in Taranaki Province, New Zealand; he settled in Australia in 1938. As the influential editor of the Red Page of the Bulletin and a publisher's editor he did much to encourage younger poets. His early volumes of verse, Green Lions (1936) and The White Cry (1939), were lyrics celebrating the beauty of New Zealand landscapes. Elegy for an Airman (1940) and Sonnets to the Unknown Soldier (1941) were volumes of war poems. The Dosser in Springtime (1946) displayed his effective use of the ballad form, for which he became renowned. The collections Glencoe (1947) and Sun Orchids (1952) were followed by The Birdsville Track (1955), a sequence of poems evoking the landscapes, birds, and animals of Australia's outback, which also formed the commentary for the documentary film Back of Beyond. His Collected Poems 1936–1967 appeared in 1967. His verse-dramas include Ned Kelly (1940), about the famous bushranger, and The Fire on the Snow (1941), about Captain Scott's expedition to the South Pole. His stories, many about the New Zealand of his youth, are collected in A Girl with Red Hair (1944). Springtime in Taranaki (1983) was an autobiography. The Flesh and the Spirit (1948) and The Broad Stream (1975) are critical works.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Souvenirs to St Joan of the Stockyards (Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe)