'Banjo' Paterson (1864-1941)
As one editor of an anthology of Australian Poetry wrote: ‘Although critical opinion does not rate Paterson’s poetry highly, as the author of ‘Clancy of the Overflow’, ‘The Man from Snowy River’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’ …he holds an unchallenged place in the popular view of Australian culture’.
Which is a sniffy way of saying a lot of people like his poems.
Born a year before Kipling, and outliving him by five years, it’s difficult not to make comparisons between them. But it’s also worth remembering that T.S.Eliot wrote most of his major poems in Paterson’s lifetime.
I first heard Clancy of the Overflow as a song, long before I’d heard of Banjo Paterson.
And if you're wondering, A. B. stands for Andrew Barton... 'Banjo' was the name of a favourite horse which he took as his pen name...