Zora Bernice May Cross
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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Oh! Bury me in books when I am dead,
Fair quarto leaves of ivory and gold,
And silk octavos, bound in brown and red,
That tales of love and chivalry unfold.
Heap me in volumes of fine vellum wrought,
Creamed with the close content of silent speech;
Wrap me in sapphire tapestries of thought
From some old epic out of common reach.
I would my shroud were verse-embroidered too---