Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday Stamps: The Man from Snowy River

This week on Sunday Stamps, the theme is 'poetry'. In order to play along, I have chosen a series of stamps inspired by a film inspired by a poem.

There was movement at the station...

The Man from Snowy River, by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson was turned into a classic Australian film in 1982, starring a young and very lovely Sigrid Thornton. I only came across these stamps for the first time two weeks ago, and being a fan of the movie, I was an instant fan of the stamps and I purchased them immediately. I am so glad Sunday Stamps has given me an excuse to share them. To get in the spirit, here is a tasty reminder of the film:

I love this film, and revisiting the trailer makes me very nostalgic! It is so cheesy! So 80s!

"that terrible descent"
The stamps were not in fact released until 1987, right before the Man from Snowy River II was released. So the stamps may not really be officially linked to the film, and that is just my own connection upon seeing the stamps and thinking "film" not "poem"; but to me the images on the stamps look like painted stills from the first movie.  The middle stamp of the strip of five, labelled "that terrible descent" represents the film's most famous and breath-taking scene, taken straight from the poem itself.
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough
       and broken ground,
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and
At the bottom of that terrible descent.
The poem 'The Man From Snowy River' was first published in the Bulletin in April 1890. Banjo Paterson is perhaps our nation's most famous poet and is responsible for turning tales of the Australian bush into folklore.  And while I clearly have a greater love for the film over the poem, I do respect the man's work. After all, he also penned our unofficial national anthem 'Waltzing Matilda', which, by-the-by, also features on a set of stamps:

Waltzing Matilda issued in 1980

I was watching a doco on tv the other night, and learned that from a billabong in outback Queensland, near where Banjo supposedly wrote his famous poem 'Waltzing Matilda', there is a big paleontological site. And Banjo Paterson now has his own dinosaur: the Australovenator wintonensis is lovingly nicknamed 'Banjo' by paleontologists.

Although featuring on a stamp (or stamps, in Banjo's case) would be pretty amazing, I have to say having a dinosaur named after you totally takes the cake.

You can read the full text of the Man from Snowy River, from the 1919 edition of the book  below. Enjoy! Meanwhile, I have a sudden urge to go and watch a cheesy 80s period drama...

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Sunday Stamps. Check out the stamps and poems other bloggers have chosen through the link below:


  1. Interesting frames on the design guess they must have some significance, and do look like the film. The Waltzing Matilda ones are my favourite, you could sing while sticking on the envelope:-)

  2. Lovely stamps and thanks for the movie trailer. I really like the Waltzing Matilda set, lovely designs and colours.

  3. It's good to know about this poet. I was unaware of the Man from Snowy River - both poem and cheesy 80's film. ;-) Thanks for participating.

  4. I knew Waltzing Matilda, who wouldn't? :) But that's as far as I got. It's so interesting to find out more. I love the stamps, the Snowy river ones as well as the Waltzing Matilda series, both sets new to me.

  5. Thank you for posting this; I too know 'Waltzing Matilda' but why have I never heard of 'The Man from Snowy River'? i'll be looking out for it - cheesy or not! Lovely stamps too. It's an interesting range of poets we are all coming up with!

  6. I have seen the movie and was thrilled to actually see the Snowy Mtns when I was in Australia. I'd not read the book (though have now read through parts of it - thanks for that link to the story.
    (I will also admit, that though familiar with Banjo Patterson - and loving his name - I used to think it was because he played the banjo and entertained his fellow bushmen!)


Hello internet friends! I love to read your comments - so thanks for sharing ♥