John Streeter Manifold
Biography of John Streeter Manifold
John Streeter Manifold was an Australian poet and critic, known also for his interest in Australian folksongs. He was born in Melbourne, into a well known Camperdown family. He was educated at Geelong Grammar School, and read modern languages at Jesus College, Cambridge. While in Cambridge he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. He was involved in an attempt to create a successor (Poetry and the People) to Left Review, when the latter folded in 1938.
He then worked in Germany, in publishing. During World War II he served in intelligence in the British Army, in the Middle East, Africa and France. He was a published war poet; Trident, with Hubert Nicholson and David Martin, was published by Randall Swingler's Fore Publications in 1944.
In 1949 he returned to Australia, settling in Brisbane. He was a founder in 1950 of the Realist Writers Group. He then worked and published mostly on Australian songs and music, reciting ballads at arts festivals. He died in Brisbane.
John Streeter Manifold's Works:
Verses 1930-1933 (1933),
The Death of Ned Kelly and Other Ballads (1941),
Selected Verse (1946),
Who Wrote the Ballads?: Notes on Australian Folksong (1954),
The Violin, the Banjo and the Bones: An Essay on the Instruments of Bush Music (1957)
Queensland Centenary Pocket Songbook (1959) editor
Nightmares and Sunhorses (1961) poems
Penguin Australian Song Book (1964). editor
Op 8 (1971) poems
Collected Verse (1971)
On My Selection (1983) poems
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From billabong or pond
he serenades the moon
upon his small bassoon;
the moon does not respond
but in the hope she might
he keeps it up all night.
The meatworker in magpie suit
goes home and practices his flute