OVER the years Jack Thompson has been known for many things - a sex symbol, a Cleo nude centrefold, movie star and these days he can recite a Banjo Paterson that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Mr Thompson will be in Orange this week as part of the inaugural Banjo Paterson Festival and will hold an Australian Poem event on Sunday February 16.
“I remember my first experience of Paterson’s which was Clancy written by a man living in town who was longing for the bush,” he said.
“I became addicted to the bush, the outback, the horses and all of that is in a lot of Banjo’s poems.”
The “self-reliance” of the outback is part of the appeal of Banjo’s poems according to Mr Thompson.
“You talk to people in the city about the bush and they have no idea,” he said.
During Sunday’s afternoon poetry session he will read works from his favourite Australian poets.
“When you read it out loud it comes to life, you can move people,” he said.
“You deliver it in the right way and you’ll have people on the edge of their seats.”
Banjo’s simple, often rhyming, lines of poetry are full of life according to Mr Thompson and he said this is why they remain popular so many years after they were written.
“The essence of good poetry is to bring life and your experiences of life to his quintessential way of writing,” he said.
Mr Thompson said there as no television or radio in the days Banjo’s poems were written so the spoken word was entertainment.
“In a time before radio and they’d read it out in the living room, it’s not like poetry that you read for yourself,” he said.
“It’s like a score from a piece of music.”
Australian Poems with Jack Thompson is on Sunday, February 16 at Orange Civic Theatre at 2.30pm.
Tickets are still available and cost $25 for adults, $19 concession, call 6393 8111 to book. nadine.morton@