Shaw Neilson’s Poetry


McAuley’s critique of John Shaw Neilson’s poetry identifies a “weakness in diction arising from a certain clumsiness and lack of self-clarification in the poet”. Nevertheless, a close analysis of Shaw Neilson’s versification reveals, in some poems, an admirable “metrical sense”. McAuley also notes similarities with the poetry of William Blake and John Clare, and argues that the quality of Neilson’s poems of pathos have been obscured by critics’ concentration on the “visionary” poems.

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Published 1 December 1966 in Volume 2 No. 4. Subjects: Australian poetry, Literary influences, John Shaw Neilson.

Cite as: McAuley, James. ‘Shaw Neilson’s Poetry.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 2, no. 4, 1966, doi: 10.20314/als.e801e83d8d.