This work is a pioneer study in an area of literary investigation which is now beginning to attract increased attention in the Commonwealth and in the United States. The author’s principal effort has been to understand the characteristics and implications of the two literatures he is studying rather than to assign literary merit and he seeks this understanding through careful exploration of the social setting in which their poetry developed. Canadian and Australian creative writing springs from common roots; settlers in each country brought as part of their effects an English tradition and this tradition became, in both countries, a tradition in exile. What has each country done with its inheritance? How has each responded to identical influences which continued to enter from abroad? How has each moulded these traditions and influences into new and recognizable national patterns? With care and insight the author analyses the differences from the parent stock and from each other which developed in poetry over the years, and the reader will come to share his conviction that more may be discovered about both Canadian and Australian literatures when they are compared than when they are studied in isolation. Into his account he brings discussions of the relations in each country of frontiers and urban centres, of tradition and revolt, of academic and popular cultures and the final effect is provocative and lucid, fresh and challenging.