The Imagination of John Shaw Neilson


No Australian poet defies criticism as surely as John Shaw Neilson. Despite his unevenness, the unostentatious subtlety of his best work, and perhaps the stress it places on compassion and instinctive awareness, impose a certain decorum on the commentator. The dangers of seeking in his lesser poems the degree of sophistication found in his best are suggested as much by the overstatements as by the tactful omissions of the growing body of Neilson criticism.

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Published 1 May 1971 in Volume 5 No. 1. Subjects: Literary portrayal, Poetic diction, Poetic techniques, John Shaw Neilson.

Cite as: Douglas, Dennis. ‘The Imagination of John Shaw Neilson.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, 1971, doi: 10.20314/als.c8776496c7.