Portrait of C.J Dennis


Lifetime: 1876 - 1938 Passed: ≈ 85 years ago


Australian poet



C. J. Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history.

C. J. Dennis was born in Auburn, South Australia. His father owned hotels in Auburn, and then later in Gladstone and Laura. His mother suffered ill health, so Clarrie (as he was known) was raised initially by his great-aunts, then went away to school, Christian Brothers College, Adelaide as a teenager.

At the age of 19 he was employed as a solicitor's clerk. It was while he was working in this job that, like banker's clerk Banjo Paterson before him, his first poem was published under the pseudonym "The Best of the Six". He later went on to publish in The Worker, under his own name, and as "Den", and in The Bulletin. His collected poetry was published by Angus & Robertson.

C.J. Dennis married Margaret Herron in 1917. She published two novels and a biography of Dennis called Down the Years.

C. J. Dennis is buried in Box Hill Cemetery, Melbourne.

Books by C. J. Dennis

The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke  Cover image

The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke

Adventure Action Fiction Novel
Marriage Literature Violence Myths World Wars Courtship Legends Poetry

The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke tells the story of Bill, a member of a larrikin push (or gang) in Melbourne's Little Lon red-light district, who encounters Doreen, a young woman "of some social aspiration", in a local market. Narrated by Bill, the p...

The Glugs of Gosh Cover image

The Glugs of Gosh

Twentieth Century Pride Arrogance Tradition Imaginative Reflection Society Life Absurdity

This is a whimsical and imaginative book that takes readers on a delightful journey to the fictional land of Gosh. Originally published in 1917, this enchanting work of literature captures the essence of a unique and quirky society, offering readers...

Bill & Doreen's Married Life Cover image

Bill & Doreen's Married Life

Marriage War Poems Life Absurdity Verses Delightful

"Bill and Doreen's Married Life" is a hilarious and heartwarming account of the ups and downs of married life. Bill and Doreen are a young couple who are just starting out their married life. They are full of love and optimism, but they are also qui...

Jim of the Hills - A Story in Rhyme Cover image

Jim of the Hills - A Story in Rhyme

Fiction Humour
Marriage Love Young Dream Redemption Challenges Happiness Life Relationships

In the rugged Australian bush, a young man named Jim seeks love and happiness. Jim of the Hills by C. J. Dennis is a humorous and heartwarming story in verse about a young man named Jim who lives in the Australian bush. Jim is a simple man with a ki...