Norman Robb Bookstore, 190 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Harold Frederick Stewart (14 December 1916 – 7 August 1995) was an Australian poet and oriental scholar. He is chiefly remembered alongside fellow poet James McAuley as a co-creator of the Ern Malley literary hoax.
Stewart's work has been associated with McAuley and A. D. Hope, belonging to a neo-classical or Augustian movement in poetry, but his choice of subject matter is different in that he concentrates on writing long metaphysical narrative poems, combining Eastern subject matter with his own metaphysical journey to shape the narrative.
He is usually described by critics as a traditionalist and conservative but described himself as a conservative anarchist. A witty and engaging letter writer, many examples have been retained by the National Library in Canberra. Leonie Kramer in The Oxford History of Australian Literature grades the literary quality of Ethel's (Malley's supposed elder sister) letters as equal to those of Patrick White, Peter Porter and Barry Humphries.
Stewart's high school poetry has homoerotic subject matter, making Stewart the first poet to embrace gay subject matter in Australia - although the closeted Stewart might have rejected being labelled Australia's first gay poet. In the 1950s he encrypted his poetry with personal homoerotic subject matter and also added other gay subject matter under the guise of Greek mythology. Stewart always remained discreet about his personal life except to his close personal friends from whom he expected respect and secrecy.
My published books:
BACK TO HOME PAGE