Everybody knows that the Australian national poet, 'bush poet', is Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, who is well-known world-wide for the often misunderstood words of a poem called Waltzing Matilda, the unofficial Australian national anthem. It should, for all fairness, be the official anthem, too. Try to sing the current anthem, (by an order of the Queen Elizabeth II's representative in the Land of Oz, the Governor-General, since 1984) ‘Advance Australia Fair’ (you know: 'Australians all let us rejoice / for we are young and free...'), composed by a Scot, Peter Dodds McCormick, who called himself ‘Amicus’, and if you tried, you'd know what I mean.
Patterson is also, and rightly so, depicted on our 10-dollar note, perhaps partly to reflect the normally very low income of those, who step on the path to immortality by the way of writing poems.
The reason I started contemplating the 'Australia Fair' is that I took the picture of this Superb Fairy-wren in the Victorian Alps east of Melbourne, in an old prospectors' site, 8-mile Flat, on Howqua River not far from where the Australian movie, The Man from Snowy River, was made. The film is based on a poem of the same name by 'Banjo' Paterson. A part of the poem goes like this:
"...He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side,Superb Fairy-wrens, on the other hand, live in large groups and are very difficult to capture with camera due to their constant movement, swiftness and tiny size: full-grown between 10 and 14 cm. There are about 8 different species of Fairy-wrens in Victoria.
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.
And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home,
Where the river runs those giant hills between;
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen..."
By the way, it may seem strange, when one considers how the two main political parties in Australia treat the asylum seekers, who come to these here shores to save their lives, literally, that the Australian national anthem has even these beautiful but so little truthful lines:
"...For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share...
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair."