David Campbell was one of Australia’s most accomplished poets.
Campbell was born on 16 July 1915 at Ellerslie Station, near Adelong, New South Wales. He was the third child of Australian-born parents Alfred Campbell, a grazier and medical practitioner, and his wife Edith Madge, née Watt.
In 1930, Campbell went to The King's School, Sydney, and in 1935, with the support of the headmaster, he enrolled at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1937. He continued to play rugby he excelled at school. His studies in English literature developed his interest in poetry.
Campbell returned to Australia from Cambridge in 1938 ... more »
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David Campbell Poems
Men in Green
Oh, there were fifteen men in green, Each with a tommy-gun, Who leapt into my plane at dawn; We rose to meet the sun.
Oh, Bill and Joe to the north have gone, A green shirt on their back; There are not many ewes and lambs Along Kokoda track.
To The Art of Edgar Degas
Beachcomber on the shores of tears Limning the gestures of defeat In dancers, whores, and opera-stars – The lonely, lighted various street
The sun was in the summer grass, the Coolibahs* were twisted steel; the stockman paused beneath their shade and sat upon his heel,
I sat beside the red stock route and chewed a blade of bitter grass and saw in mirage on the plain a bullock wagon pass.
Mothers and Daughters
The cruel girls we loved Are over forty, Their subtle daughters Have stolen their beauty;
At The Sheep-Dog Trials
What ancestors unite Here in this red and white Kelpie to define His symmetry of line,
Cat and Mouse
Her green eyes change to yellow. This Is open season. In a glass maze Lovers play a cat and mouse. Good cat! He coaxes sparks from her fur.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Men in Green
Oh, there were fifteen men in green,
Each with a tommy-gun,
Who leapt into my plane at dawn;
We rose to meet the sun.
We set our course towards the east
And climbed into the day
Till the ribbed jungle underneath
Like a giant fossil lay.
We climbed towards the distant range,
Where two white paws of cloud
Clutched at the shoulders of the pass;
The green men laughed aloud.
They did not fear the ape-like cloud
That climbed the mountain crest
And hung from ropes invisible
With lightning in its breast.
They did not fear the summer's ...