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(24 February 1868 – 9 February 1904 / East Ballarat)

Biography of Jenning Carmichael

Jenning Carmichael poet

Jennings Carmichael was an Australian poet.

The daughter of Archibald Carmichael, Grace Elizabeth Jennings Carmichael was born at East Ballarat in 1868. She was educated at Melbourne, while still a child went to live on a station at Orbost, and grew up close to the bush she came to love so much. In 1888 she went to Melbourne to be trained as a nurse at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and in 1891 published a small volume of prose sketches, Hospital Children. Having qualified she obtained a position on a station near Geelong, and subsequently married Francis Mullis. She contributed verse to the Australasian, and in 1895 Poems by Jennings Carmichael was published. She lived for a time in South Australia and then went to London, where she died in poor circumstances in 1904. In 1910 a small selection of her poems was published, in 1937 a plaque to her memory was unveiled at Orbost, and a year later a replica was placed in the public library at Ballarat. Two of Jennings Carmichael's sons were present at the ceremony.

Jennings Carmichael wrote much good and pleasant verse with occasional touches of poetry. Brunton Stephens called Miss Carmichael the Jean Ingelow of Australia. Comparisons of this kind have little value, but it may be said that Miss Carmichael's position in relation to the leading Australian poets, is not dissimilar to that of Miss Ingelow in comparison with Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson.

Jenning Carmichael's Works:

Poems (1895)

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The Old Bush Road

DEAR old road, wheel-worn and broken,
Winding through the forest green,
Barred with shadows and with sunshine,
Misty vistas drawn between.
Grim, scarred bluegums ranged austerely,
Lifting blackened columns each
To the large, fair fields of azure,
Stretching ever out of reach.
See the hardy bracken growing

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