The newspaper item begins with a photo of James McAuley under the heading Helped Create “Ern Malley” and the following text:
Lieut James McAuley, who with Corporal Harold Stewart (now in hospital in Sydney) created the bogus ‘Ern Malley.’ He said today that so far he had see no statement from Angry Penguins that called for a reply from himself or Stewart.
Nearly Bad Enough to be Genuine
Even Now Bernard O’Dowd, the poet, finds it hard to believe ‘Ern Malley’s’ verses were faked.
To Mr O’Dowd they gave so many indications of “the obscurity, cacophony and flatulence” characterising the writings of many Australians, who “dated” their productions by calling them “modern poetry.”
“If a genuine hoax, the authors are to be congratulated on a very timely experiment,” Mr O’Dowd said today. “Just as Byron’s ‘English Bards and Scotch Reviewers’ cleared the British poetic atmosphere of a lot of smelly dust,” so “Ern Malley’s Darkening Ecliptic” will tend to dissipate the too prevalent charlatanism, cheap-jackery vulgarity, and verbose omniscience infesting poetic and critical organisms in Australia today.
“I agree with The Herald sub-leader of last night, and trust that the layman who loves poetry will take the lesson of this hoax to heart and begin to have some, though only a humble, confidence in his own judgment of the merits of Australian verse.