Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1916 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history.

Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets.

When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the "Australian Robert Burns".

Biography

C. J. Dennis was born in Auburn, South Australia. His father owned hotels in Auburn, and then later in Gladstone and Laura. His mother suffered ill health, so Clarrie (as he was known) was raised initially by his great-aunts, then went away to school, Christian Brothers College, Adelaide as a teenager.

At the age of 19 he was employed as a solicitor's clerk. It was while he was working in this job that, like banker's clerk Banjo Paterson before him, his first poem was published. He later went on to publish in The Bulletin.

C. J. Dennis is buried in Box Hill Cemetery, Melbourne. The Box Hill Historical Society have attached a commemorative plaque to the gravestone. Dennis is also commemorated with a plaque on Circular Quay in Sydney which forms part of the NSW Ministry for the Arts - Writers Walk series, and by a bust outside the town hall of the town of Laura.

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Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis Poems

A Change Of Air

Now, a man in Oodnadatta
He grew fat, and he grew fatter,
Though he hardly had a thing to eat for dinner;
While a man in Booboorowie... more »

The Austral-Aise

Fellers of Australier,
Blokes an' coves an' coots,
Shift yer --- carcases,
Move yer --- boots.... more »

The Dawn Dance

What do you think I saw to-day when I arose at dawn?
Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn!
Bobbing here, and bowing there, gossiping away,
And how I wished that you were there to see the merry play!... more »

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis Quotes

Comments about Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Amelia Bright 01 Apr 2008 03:49
the reson i have looked this poem up is we are lerning it at bribie island state school it is a good poem for kids my techer learnt it 50 years ago.