Brereton, the Bulletin, and A.G. Stephens
Although Sea and Sky (1908) and Swags Up (1928) record Brereton's movement towards both individual concerns and a personal idiom, his whole achievement has its base in the prevailing cultural climate of the Nineties. In those years the poet was making his first tentative essays in his art, the antennae of his young mind were reaching out to the world around him. Sydney in the Nineties provided a poet with many opportunities to sharpen his imaginings by bringing them up against competing modes of thought and feeling. Brereton made good use of such a situation, furthering an artistic education whose lasting fruits were not to be produced until after the turn of the century. Throughout the Nineties, there was scarcely a writer in Sydney with whom he was not acquainted, sometimes, as with Lawson and Brennan, on terms of real intimacy.
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