Illustration of Ned KellyA Poem on Ned Kelly: Australian Bushranger, by David Watt The Society August 10, 2019 Culture, Poetry 6 Comments Ned’s Revision Ned Kelly was an outlaw, of humble Irish stock; Born to Australian parents who farmed a rural block. Assault at fourteen years of age drew police attention, And further charges followed, too numerous to mention. His downfall was a shootout which earnt him lasting fame For donning home-made armour, though captured just the same. Ned Kelly, as they hanged him, was stoic to the last; Resigned to fate, come of late as penance for the past. Bravado mattered little when charged with armed assault Proved deadly to policemen—a capital insult. The magistrate had spoken, the verdict brought to tears Those members of the public who’d followed him for years; Though paper headlines printed the general belief That rope affixed to Kelly removed a murderous thief. But now, through lens of history, as if for recompense, We overlook the worst of deeds at the truth’s expense; In favour of the outlaw—an armoured Aussie knight; Prepared to face a challenge, although the odds are slight. And in this folklore version portrayed as just revolt, Ned Kelly fires his Enfield like Zeus’s thunderbolt. David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 6 Responses C.B. Anderson August 10, 2019 Way to go, David. I’m sure he captured the Australian imagination just the way that Jesse James captured the imagination of Americans. Outlaws are, for some reason, considered romantic figures in the minds of the general populace. Maybe that’s because there’s a streak of libertarianism running through the veins of every freedom-loving denizen in every country where self-determination is deemed a virtue. It wouldn’t hurt, however, if you tidied up the metrics a bit. I shouldn’t have to explain, since I’m that you can count just as well as I can. Reply C.B. Anderson August 10, 2019 David, in the last line of my comment, of course I meant, “since I’m sure that you can count ….” Reply David Watt August 11, 2019 Thanks C.B., Ned Kelly could be likened to Jesse James (minus the homemade body armor). The urge to rebel against authority commenced with the first convicts, and became an ingrained element of our culture. Although our histories differ, Americans and Australians share the love of liberty, now under threat from the strictures of leftist ideologies. I will have a closer look at the metrics of this piece. Reply C.B. Anderson August 11, 2019 No worries. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 18, 2019 I like it when a little slice of history is afforded a poetic nod. I especially like the timeless opening lines of the closing stanza: “But now, through lens of history, as if for recompense, /We overlook the worst of deeds at the truth’s expense” – how beautifully put and how perfectly true. Reply David Watt August 21, 2019 Thank you Susan for appreciating these lines. As an armored underdog, Ned Kelly has, understandably, been romanticized. But he was violent, and not averse to ‘turning in’ his mates. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.