The Library is open over the October long weekend, with reduced hours on Monday 2 October 2023. View the long weekend opening hours here.

Poetic duels

Student activities

Task no. 1

Conduct research on Banjo Paterson

Research Banjo Paterson and his work. Start by looking at his portrait found in the State Library of NSW collection here. You may also like to visit the Australian Dictionary of Biography to see their entry on A. B. Paterson here

Use Prezi, Sway, Padlet or another digital (or even non-digital) form to produce a published biography of A. B. Paterson.  

A. B. Paterson, Banjo : portrait in oils, 1927 / Agnes Noyes Goodsir,
View collection item detail

Task no. 2

Adjudicate the debate

Find out about one of Banjo Paterson’s contemporaries, Henry Lawson – read this story about Henry Lawson as a young poet and scroll down to the subheading ‘City vs Country: Duelling with Banjo.’ 

Write a 1 paragraph adjudication, determining who was the winner – Lawson or Paterson – and why. Give evidence to support your decision.  

Task no. 3

Take a side

Participate in your own poetic duel. Find a partner and decide on a theme. Some suggestions include: 

  • Beach/mountains 
  • Summer/Winter 
  • Online/offline 

Choose a side and write a short poem painting a positive picture of this aspect of life – make it seem wonderful! 

Swap your poem with your partner, read your partner’s poem and write a response in the form of a poem.