Bernard Patrick O'Dowd


Bernard O’Dowd was a radical writer during Australia’s Federation. He was fierce opponent to Federation and wrote many satirical pieces about it. His best known work is the poem ‘The bush’. O’Dowd wrote for the Bulletin magazine for several years as well as working as a librarian at the Supreme Court. 

After giving up writing for a profession as a civil servant O’Dowd moved to Clarke Street in Northcote where he lived with fellow poet Marie Pitt. He married Evangeline (Mina) Fryer and they had five children, Montaigne, Auster, Rudel, Amergin and Vondel. In his later years Bernard was offered a knighthood by then Prime Minister J. A. Lyons but declined the honour. In 1952 O’Dowd wrote a final poem, ‘That we shall see our dream of Oneness realized’.  He was still in the house in Clarke Street when he died the following year at the age of 87.

Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1851 – 1890. (1981). Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press.

BERNARD O'DOWD WAS A POET WHO MEANT ALL HE SAID. (1953, September 12). The West Australian (Perth, W.A.: 1879-1954), p. 18.