Musical tribute to Maida Vale poet Jack Sorensen

Dingo's Breakfast.
Jack Sorenson.
Dingo's Breakfast. Jack Sorenson.

MUSICIANS are bringing the evocative 20th century verse of a Hills poet to another generation at a one-off concert in Kalamunda.

The August 26 event is part of a tribute tour by Dingo’s Breakfast to remember Jack Sorensen, who penned his life experiences in prose after growing up on a family orchard in Maida Vale.

Musician-poet Roger Montgomery worked on the ‘almost forgotten’ poems with fellow musos to create a musical interpretation of the late poet’s work for folk festivals around Australia.

“Sorensen has an intriguing story because he travelled the state at one of the most exciting times during the Gold Rush, and wherever he went he inspired confidence and respect,” he said.

Montgomery discovered Sorensen during a residency in Kalamunda where he met his family and friends, and where he determined to keep the poet’s expressive words alive’.

“He had a knack for the bush ballad and through his words, you sense his love of country and people… I think he had a kindly eye for human failures,” he said.

In a review of Sorensen’s work, author-historian Dame Mary Durack voiced her admiration for his sometimes whimsical and always musical verse.

“None who encountered him could have been unaware of his poetry, for it flowed from him at all times as a natural and spontaneous reaction to the varied circumstances in which he found himself,” she said.

Sorensen had a vast experience to draw from and his background extended to life as a shearer, a soldier and a war poet.

He taught himself to box at an early age and became a WA welterweight champion, which proved a useful attribute to have in the blokey environment of his times and the reason for his label as ‘the fighting poet’.

After the war, ‘black dog’ sadly overshadowed his life and he died in mysterious circumstances at the age of 41.

The performance is at Kalamunda RSL Club at 7.30pm on August 26. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for children under-16; call 0409 680 475.