Biography of Nettie Palmer
Nettie Palmer was born Janet Gertrude Higgins in Bendigo, Victoria and was schooled at the Prebyterian Ladies' College. After taking a BA and diploma in education from the University of Melbourne, she travelled to England and continued her studies in French and German. She returned to Melbourne and completed an MA in 1912. In 1914 she returned to England and married Vance Palmer, beginning one of Australia's most important literary partnerships.
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Nettie Palmer Poems
WHEN shall I make a song for you, my love? When you are nigh me? Not so, for then the hours unnamed go by me, Flocking like dove on dove.
DID you know, little child, Ere you left the outer wild, There were strong hands steady, There were old songs ready,
IN the sorrow and the terror of the nations, In a world shaken through by lamentations, Shall I dare know happiness That I stitch a baby’s dress?
IN the sorrow and the terror of the nations,
In a world shaken through by lamentations,
Shall I dare know happiness
That I stitch a baby’s dress?
So: for I shall be a mother with the mothers,
I shall know the mother’s anguish like the others,
Present joy must surely start
For the life beneath my heart.