A Tour of the lower regions

Launceston Examiner Saturday 14 January 1893 p. 3.

Our Hobart Letter

Many old hands here will remember "Frank, the poet." Frank was a curiosity in his way, and was possessed of considerable poetical talent. One could not classify him with Adam Lindsay Gordon,
but still he turned out some rhymes which, if altogether rude, showed talent which might have developed under better educational auspices than Frank in his earlier days moved under. The last I heard of Frank was that the reaper with his sickle keen had reached him, but in a general rummage made amongst some old papers I discovered one of his effusions, entitled "A tour to the lower regions."
The poem, if one can call it a poem, is a skit on the early prison days of the colony, and in parts is literally sarcastic whilst not altogether devoid of humour. I quote the end of the last stanza, which reads thus:

And many saints from foreign lands
With Frank the poet all shook hands,
And began to sing and praise his name,
But at last I woke—'twas all a dream.


This article is a good example the way fragments of MacNamara's work can still be discovered in old colonial newspapers (in this case 1 April 2013). "Our Own Correspondent" in the Launcestion Examiner remembers the poet for some reason and appears to have a copy of "A Convict's Tour to Hell" amongst his archives which having no title he names "A tour to the lower regions."

What he says about the poet is tainted with his own understanding of what proper poetry should be, however this fragment added to all the others we have provides important evidence of the survival of MacNamara's verse in Tasmania. Indeed, the correspondent admits this in his opening sentence - Many old hands here will remember "Frank, the poet."