A.G. Stephens as Editor of Barcroft Boake’s Poems : A Comment
In spite of what Dr Clement Semmler has written in his note on A. G. Stephens as editor of Barcroft Boake's poems (Australian Literary Studies, vol. 3, no. 3, May 1968) on the whole and on the evidence A.G.S. has done only what he stated he had done in the preface to Where the Dead Men Lie; and Other Poems (Sydney, 1897): 'Occasionally . . . strengthened a line or changed a word where the advantage seemed obvious or the necessity great. . . .' Barcroft Boake was a young poet who had begun writing poetry late in his life and who had no great experience of it when he died at the age of twenty six. His poetic sense was natural and good, his art had to be learned and was often clumsy and childish. It is this carpentry, this scaffolding, of art that A.G.S. with his blue pencil and his purple ink has strengthened.
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