Dollypot, Greenhide and Spindrift:

a journal of bush history

Jack Sorensen at 14.

Emily Pelloe, writing in The Sunday Times of 18 September 1921, is undoubtedly describing the young Jack Sorenson. The MP with an interest in literary ventures is R.S. Sampson. Mary Durack refers to this early association in the introduction of The Ghosts of Bayley Street, Hesperian Press, 1992.   Pjb.

“I met a boy who came to pay his respects to a member of Parliament convalescing at Kalamunda who is interested in literary ventures. Only 14 years of age, brimming over with poetry and romance, and possessing a vast store of general information, he surely is a budding genius. He rattled off his stanzas and cantos, and talked of metre, measure and rhythm, as most youngsters discuss marbles and football. I left them as he was reading with marvellous rapidity of speech and intensity of expression extracts from a story about the mystery of a well, which he wished to submit for one of this man’s newspapers. On my way back to Perth I met this lad again on the road at Maida Vale, all smiles because his story had been accepted for a country journal. We talked for awhile, and I gave him a pamphlet copy of “Dryblower’s’’ poem, What of the Waifs of Parkerville? issued by the Appeal Committee. “Ah,” he said, as he glanced at the verses, “ ‘Dryblower’ writes jingle for The Sunday Times. I know his style, but I prefer the iambic metre myself.” I gathered up my reins at that, not being equal to a discussion on the architectonics of prosody, and said, “Good-day.” Looking back, I saw him scrambling through a wire fence to rake up the litter of pruning in his father’s orchard.”