Henry Kendall and the Wildman

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Tuckeroo
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Henry Kendall and the Wildman

Unread post by Tuckeroo » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:44 pm

Hi PMc,

That’s an interesting poem by Henry Kendall. I’ve read a couple of Kendall’s poems but hadn’t come across this one.
A lot of colonial writing and even art makes reference to the mysteries of the Aussie bush and tends to wrap the
local Aboriginal culture up within the European sense of ghosts and spirits.
Not much of a clear distinction regarding the two is made. You can see this in;

‘When your tribe about their camp-fires hear that hollow, broken cry,
Do they hint of deeds mysterious, hidden in the days gone by’

In this poem you can say Kendall is doing that in some parts, but if you isolate certain lines he is definitely referring
to a third party that’s not European or Aboriginal.

‘There I listened- there I heard it! Oh that melancholy sound
What might mean that muffled sobbing ? did a lonely phantom wail.’
and further on ‘Oh! that shriek that rent the air’

and in this next bit the beast is flesh and blood and not a spirit and is drinking from a creek;

'Shake that silence from you, wild man! I have looked into your face,
Hoping I should learn the story there about this fearful place.
Slake your thirst, but stay and tell me: did your heart with terror beat,
When you stepped across the bare and blasted hillock at your feet ’

In that last line could Kendall be referring to how tall or agile the Wildman is.
In the last stanza he just says straight out what the Wildman prefers after alluding to him throughout most of the poem.

‘The white man's track and the haunts of the black
He shuns, and shudders to see;
For his joy he tastes in lonely wastes
Where his mates are torrent and tree’.

Kendall might have had a Wildman encounter himself and chose to weave the story into a poem instead of directly
writing about it. Apparently he was inspector of state forests for a short time so who knows what he may have come across.

Also in this poem he refers to the native Oak which I’ve read about before in other colonial literature and I would sure like to know
what the Aboriginal name for these trees are. Could be Casuarina’s, as their known as she-oaks. Are they the same thing ?

T.

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Re: Henry Kendall and the Wildman

Unread post by gregvalentine » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Tuckeroo wrote:Hi PMc,

That’s an interesting poem by Henry Kendall. I’ve read a couple of Kendall’s poems but hadn’t come across this one.
A lot of colonial writing and even art makes reference to the mysteries of the Aussie bush and tends to wrap the
local Aboriginal culture up within the European sense of ghosts and spirits.
Title of the poem please? Thanks.

gregvalentine
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Re: Henry Kendall and the Wildman

Unread post by gregvalentine » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:24 pm

gregvalentine wrote:
Tuckeroo wrote:Hi PMc,

That’s an interesting poem by Henry Kendall. I’ve read a couple of Kendall’s poems but hadn’t come across this one.
A lot of colonial writing and even art makes reference to the mysteries of the Aussie bush and tends to wrap the
local Aboriginal culture up within the European sense of ghosts and spirits.
Title of the poem please? Thanks.
Apologies - "The Wail in the Native Oak", as mentioned by Paul McLeod in another thread.

gregvalentine
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Re: Henry Kendall and the Wildman

Unread post by gregvalentine » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:30 pm

gregvalentine wrote:
gregvalentine wrote:
Tuckeroo wrote:Hi PMc,

That’s an interesting poem by Henry Kendall. I’ve read a couple of Kendall’s poems but hadn’t come across this one.
A lot of colonial writing and even art makes reference to the mysteries of the Aussie bush and tends to wrap the
local Aboriginal culture up within the European sense of ghosts and spirits.
Title of the poem please? Thanks.
Apologies - "The Wail in the Native Oak", as mentioned by Paul McLeod in another thread.
Also "The Warrigal" as also mentioned by P McL - any others?

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Tuckeroo
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Re: Henry Kendall and the Wildman

Unread post by Tuckeroo » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:07 pm

Apologies - "The Wail in the Native Oak", as mentioned by Paul McLeod in another thread.[/quote]

Also "The Warrigal" as also mentioned by P McL - any others?[/quote]




Sorry about the confusion GV, I usually post keeping in mind that others might not be aware of the original thread.
Because I was having a few of my own opinions regarding Kendall I thought I would post as a new topic in this section.

As I said in my post a lot of colonial writing alludes to the mysteries of the bush. The romanticism wraps the aboriginal
culture up with spirits, ghosts and eventually the Wildman. That’s why from what I’ve read, especially poetry,
Kendall seems to state directly that he has seen a Wildman, or what we know as the Yowie.

In answer to your question, I don’t know of any other poetry from that era that refers directly to a Yowie.
Paul Mc may know a bit more as he did the original research about Kendall.


T.

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