Definition and History of Bush Verse

Australian Bush Poetry or Verse is defined by the Australian Bush Poets Association as “poetry having good rhyme and meter, written about Australia, Australians and the Australian way of life.”

Australian Bush Verse has been written since settlement of Australia. Whilst there are many well known purveyors of the art, such as “Banjo” Paterson, Henry Lawson etc, the numbers of their poems pale into insignificance compared with what has been written by ordinary, everyday people throughout our history.

Bush Verse has been written in stock camps, on droving trips, in pubs and no doubt, the ubiquitous Australian “dunny”. The language is often colourful, reflecting the vernacular of the bush and laced with many words which may appear like a foreign language to overseas readers. Likewise, some of the “townies” that live in this country could well have problems with some of the words. But, these words are part of our history and should always be preserved in our verse and language.

Bush Verse and Poetry tells of Australian life in the bush and also in the towns. It is making a strong resurgence in popularity with many aspiring bards contributing to a growing collection of poetry which is unique in its content and style. Many competitions have sprung up over latter years which encourage the writing and publishing of Australian Bush Verse.

If you are an Australian reading these pages, you are urged to read all the Bush Verse you can lay your hands on. You will discover the history and stories of this country in a form which not only tells a story, but is more often than not filled with emotion not necessarily portrayed in book form.

You may even like to join our Forum where you can interact with likeminded people and bush poets. They’re all a very friendly bunch.