Vance Palmer

(1885 - 1959 / Australia)

Vance Palmer
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Edward Vivian (Vance) Palmer was born in Bundaberg, Queensland, on 28 August 1885, the son of Henry Burnet Palmer, a school master with literary leanings and literary friendships. His youth was spent in a succession of country towns between Bundaberg and Stanthorpe. In 1899 he went as a boarder to the Ipswich Boys' Grammar School where he remained until December 1901.

In 1905 Vance went to London where he worked as a freelance journalist. After three years he made the return journey via Finland and Russia. Back in Australia he worked for some time as tutor and bookkeeper on a cattle station in the Maranoa district of Queensland. On his second visit to London in 1910, Vance met ... more »

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Vance Palmer Quotations

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  • ''The voice of America has no undertones or overtones in it. It repeats its optimistic catchwords in a tireless monologue that has the slightly metallic sound of a gramophone.''
    Vance Palmer (1885-1959), Australian author and poet. repr. In Intimate Portraits, ed. H. P. Heseltine (1969). "Literary America," (1923).
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Best Poem of Vance Palmer

The Road To Roma Jail

It's a long road, a cruel road, the road to Roma Jail,
birds in all the branches mocking as you pass,
the spiteful little soldier-bird, the stupid old jackass,
crying 'One, two three of them; riding head to tail'.
On the long road, the cruel road, the road to Roma Jail.

Crookedly the track runs beneath the grassy skies
silver shines the mulga, golden glows the plain,
Bullocks in the barley-grass start and stare again,
stockmen at the station-yars, watch the white dust rise,
but one man, jogging on, dare not raise his eyes.

Pride of life and wild blood, all...

Read the full of The Road To Roma Jail