John Streeter Manifold

(21 April 1915 – 19 April 1985 / Melbourne)

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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 ... more »

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Best Poem of John Streeter Manifold

Guess Who?

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
ten times on end he will begin
the Bridal March from Lohengrin,
or make the Kookaburra smile
by his attempts at Fairest Isle.

He needs both industry and skill
the satisfy his hunger
did he run up that monstrous bill
of his at the fishmonger?

In arrogance and outward show
but not in brains he's strong; ...

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