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More informationLibriVox volunteers bring you 4 recordings of Fatherland by Sir Henry Parkes. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 23rd, 2011.
Sir Henry Parkes, GCMG (27 May 1815 – 27 April 1896) was an Australian statesman, the "Father of Federation." As the earliest advocate of a Federal Council of the colonies of Australia, a precursor to the Federation of Australia, he is generally considered the most prominent of the Australian Founding Fathers.
Parkes was described during his lifetime by The Times as "the most commanding figure in Australian politics". Alfred Deakin described him as "though not rich or versatile, his personality was massive, durable and imposing, resting upon elementary qualities of human nature elevated by a strong mind. He was cast in the mould of a great man and though he suffered from numerous pettinesses, spites and failings, he was in himself a large-brained self-educated Titan whose natural field was found in Parliament and whose resources of character and intellect enabled him in his later years to overshadow all his contemporaries".
Parkes's literary work includes six volumes of verse, Stolen Moments (1842), Murmurs of the Stream (1857), Studies in Rhyme (1870), The Beauteous Terrorist and Other Poems (1885), Fragmentary Thoughts (1889), Sonnets and Other Verses (1895). It has been the general practice to laugh at Parkes's poetic efforts, and it is true that his work could sometimes be almost unbelievably bad. Yet though he had no real claims to be a poet he wrote some weak, sincere verse which has occasionally been included in Australian anthologies. (Summary from Wikipedia.)