Zora Bernice May Cross (18 May 1890 – 22 January 1964 / Brisbane)
Biography of Zora Bernice May Cross
Zora Bernice May Cross was an Australian poet, novelist and journalist.
She was born in Brisbane, and was educated at Ipswich Girls' Grammar School and then Sydney Teachers' College. She taught for three years and then worked as a journalist, for the Boomerang and then as a freelance writer.
After the failure of her first marriage she eventually lived in a de facto marriage with David McKee Wright. Zora'a first book of poetry, A Song of Mother Love, was published in 1916. Songs of Love and life, a collection of love poetry thought at the time to be rather too frank, but which proved popular enough to appear is several editions, followed in 1917.
The 1920s saw the continuation of war poetry, both celebrating the exploits of the fighting men and lamenting the realities of war. Zora Cross’s Elegy on an Australian schoolboy, a poem about her young brother who was killed in the war, is an example of the latter. She is best-known for her 1917 book, Songs of love.
She was known not only for her poems, including sonnet sequences, but for a private life scandalous by the standards of her time. She wrote about sex, childbirth and war, in terms also considered too explicit by contemporaries.
As Bernice May, she wrote a regular column in the 1930s for the Australian Women's Mirror. It comprised interviews with women writers.
Zora Cross died in the Blue Mountain region of New South Wales in 1964.
Zora Bernice May Cross's Works:
A Song of Mother Love (1916)
Songs of Love and Life (1917)
The Lilt of Life (1918)
The City of Riddle-Me-Ree (1918)
Elegy on an Australian Schoolboy (1921)
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Late, late last night, when the whole world slept,
Along to the garden of dreams I crept.
And I pulled the bell of an old, old house
Where the moon dipped down like a little white mouse.
I tapped the door and I tossed my head:
"Are you in, little girl? Are you in?" I said.
And while I waited and shook with cold
Through the door tripped me---just eight years old.
I looked so sweet with my pigtails down,