Ballad & Lyrical Poems
By Shaw Neilson.
Published by The Bookfellow, Sydney, Australia.
In Neilson’s poems incongruities are reconciled. They strike arousing attention, flush imagination with emotion, and melt away into the unifying spirit of beauty, the unruffled stream of melody. — ARTHUR BAYLDON.
In Neilson’s work at its best I find delicate imagining, limpid feeling, and a pure melody — a charm of native wood-notes! — C. J. BRENNAN.
Dear Mr. Neilson, — The presentation of your book has given me great pleasure. — ROBERT BRIDGES.
I was back again in the “land where I was born.” Would that I could write like Neilson! I have dreamed such things; but awake have never found them. — HUBERT CHURCH.
How beautiful Neilson’s work is! And how strange a flowering in the mallee scrub! It is less like singing than (at times) like the articulation of some half-mesmerised spirit. — ROBERT CRAWFORD.
Working by day on the roads, and at night dreaming his lovely verses, Neilson is a roadmender in life and in poetry; he opens the road of reality; he opens the road of beauty. — ENID DERHAM.
Neilson’s poetry expresses intense feeling sublimated to a pellucid delicacy, with a wonderful harmony of verbal music; no one can imitate him. — MARY GILMORE.
Many quite delightful lyrics! In some he displays a profound insight into the mystery of Nature; in others a wistful sympathy with those who “fall by the way” of life; a fine humanity is revealed in all. With so delicate a flavour and fragrance: true poetry! — JESSIE MACKAY.
Our most exquisite poet! — no! I mean ecstatic. What an altogether lovely book! — M. A. ROBERTSON.
John Shaw Neilson, New Poems, [Sydney]: The Bookfellow in Australia, 1927, [p. 37]
mallee scrub = (in a wider context) a reference to mallee country: Australian backblocks; country areas typically populated with mallee trees (various low-growing shrubby Australian trees, of the genus Eucalyptus)
pellucid = translucid, translucent, transparent, very clear (enabling light to pass through without significant distortion); reflecting light from a surface, bright, shining; something which is very clear in meaning, expression, or style (something which is lucid, i.e. very clear and easy to understand); clear and pure music or sound
[Editor: Replaced the comma after “M. A. ROBERTSON,” with a full stop.]