John Shaw Neilson

(22 February 1872 – 12 May 1942 / Penola, South Australia)

John Shaw Neilson
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John Shaw Neilson, was an Australian poet. Slightlybuilt, for most of his life, John Shaw Neilson worked as a labourer, fruit-picking, clearing scrub, navvying and working in quarries, and, after 1928, working as a messenger with the Country Roads Board in Melbourne. Largely untrained and only basically educated, Neilson became known as one of Australia's finest lyric poets, who wrote a great deal about the natural world, and the beauty in it.

Early life

Neilson was born in Penola, South Australia of purely Scottish ancestry. His grandparents were John Neilson and Jessie MacFarlane of Cupar, Neil Mackinnon of Skye, and Margaret Stuart of Greenock. His mother, Margaret ... more »

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Best Poem of John Shaw Neilson

Beauty Imposes

Beauty imposes reverence in the Spring,
Grave as the urge within the honeybuds,
It wounds us as we sing.

Beauty is joy that stays not overlong.
Clad in the magic of sincerities,
It rides up in a song.

Beauty imposes chastenings on the heart,
Grave as the birds in last solemnities
Assembling to depart.

Read the full of Beauty Imposes

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