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Poem of the Month

July 2021

The September 2020 ABPA writing workshop prompt was a photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction. In 1932 Berger Paints, who supplied the paint for the Bridge, commissioned Australian poet CJ Dennis to write a poem about what his character Bill, The Sentimental Bloke, might think of the completed structure. Dennis wrote "I Dips Me Lid", an imaginary meeting between Bill and first Governor Arthur Phillip. In the poem Dennis coined an expression that Berger Paints adopted as their catchphrase – Keep on Keeping on!

Keep on Keeping On

© Shelley Hansen 2020

They primed the Bridge with Berger paint -
a task not suited for the faint
of heart. Though 16 lives were lost
they kept it up, despite the cost.

When finally completed, they
commissioned for the launching day
a poem by a well-known hand
whose work was legend in this land.

So CJ Dennis wrote a spiel
on how the "Bloke" would likely feel
to see this structure in its prime -
the leading marvel of its time.

He coined a phrase to capture heart
and soul, that marked the project's start
and carried on until its end -
on which its outcome would depend.

So Berger Paints took up the phrase,
adopted it to sing the praise
of products made with Berger's name -
a slogan quickly etched in fame.

The words "Den" chose still ring true blue
as much as back in '32!
Though times have changed, the past now gone ...
still Berger keeps on keeping on!

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