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Slessor became an editor at his old newspaper, the Sun, in April.During the war he had written only two poems, 'An Inscription for Dog River' (a critique of Sir Thomas Blamey) and the powerfully elegiac 'Beach Burial'.In 1917 his first publication, a dramatic monologue (spoken by a digger dying in Europe and remembering Sydney Harbour and Manly Beach) appeared in the Bulletin.
Gaining first-class honours in English in the Leaving certificate in 1918, Slessor joined the Sun newspaper as a cadet journalist, and studied shorthand and typing at the Metropolitan Business College.
His early journalistic writing was full of brilliant description and poetic flourishes.
His first book of poetry, Thief of the Moon, had been published in 1924, printed on a hand-press by J. Slessor culled what he thought the best of these poems and added many others, publishing Earth-Visitors (1926): it, too, was illustrated by Lindsay, and was produced by Jack Lindsay's Fanfrolico Press in London. Slessor joined the idiosyncratic Smith's Weekly in 1927 and remained there until 1940, serving as an editor from 1935.
He enjoyed its unconventionality, interest in film and humour, and, probably, its 'knock-'em-down' vulgarity; he later described the period as 'the happiest chapter of my existence'.
In 1932 he published his third major collection, Cuckooz Contrey, a collection of illustrated light verse.
Darlinghurst Nights (1933) and a collection of children's verse, Funny Farmyard (1933), followed.Kenneth Adolf Slessor (1901-1971), poet and journalist, was born on 27 March 1901 at Orange, New South Wales, second son and eldest of three surviving children of Robert Schloesser, mining engineer, and his native-born wife Margaret Ella, née Mc Innes, whose parents came from the Hebrides.Robert was born in London, where his father Adolphe had moved from Germany.During these years he wrote most of his major poetry, the bulk of his light verse (which was published in Smith's, with illustrations principally by Virgil Reilly), numerous articles and film reviews.Slessor's 'Five Visions of Captain Cook' was included in a booklet, Trio (1931), with poems by Harley Matthews and Colin Simpson.It was strongly influenced by Norman Lindsay; it tried to jolt Australian writing out of the bush and into the city; and it promoted Nietzschean ideas, discussion of sexuality, debate about aesthetics, and writing about the inner life.Allied to the magazine, and creating the same sort of stir, was an anthology edited by the trio, Poetry in Australia, 1923.He spent some time in Melbourne in 1924-25, writing satirical and light verse for the Herald and sub-editing Punch (where he met the illustrator, Joe Lynch).Late in 1925 Punch closed, and in 1926 Slessor returned to Sydney and the Sun. Its sales, though meagre, were aided by the inclusion of three Norman Lindsay woodcuts.Lindsay was anti-Semitic and aggressively anti-Christian, while holding to a vaguely Platonic view of an afterlife. He dismissed the poems of 'Banjo' Paterson, Henry Lawson and all the bush balladists.To Slessor, poetry had only begun 'any consistent growth in Australia' 'with the publication of Mc Crae's Satyrs and Sunlight' (1909). Johnson, a bookseller, to edit Vision: a Literary Quarterly, which ran for only four issues.