Bio of Francis Brabazon from “Stay With God”

Francis Brabazon – A Biographical Sketch
Francis Brabazon was born in England in 1907. He moved to Australia with
his family when he was a young child, the youngest of five children.
They settled on a farm in Victoria. In his book THE WIND OF THE
WORD he describes these early days. He was close to his father who had
been a drama critic and through him became interested in literature. By
his early teens he became disillusioned with his Anglican faith because
of the lack of answers to his questions.
In the early 1930s in Melbourne, in the midst of the Depression, he worked
at odd jobs and educated himself, learned to play the piano and achieved
an unofficial Australian record at weightlifting. Francis met the Baron
von Frankenburg, a Sufi teacher from the school of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Many of the Baron’s group later became followers of the Spiritual Master
Meher Baba. Francis began to paint, was drafted into the army early in the
war but did not fit into the military life – too many questions again.
An exhibition of his paintings in Melbourne during this period
influenced the fledgling Antipodean Movement in Australian painting and
especially the early work of one of Australia’s greatest artists, Sidney Nolan.
Brabazon turned to poetry and was published in the controversial Angry
Penguins Magazine and Ern Malley’s Journal until his poetry became
mystical and from then until his death was ignored by the various
literary movements in Australia, except for the young La Mama poets of
the late sixties. His first published books PROLETARIANS –
TRANSITION and EARLY POEMS were written during the 1940s.
In 1947 the Baron gave Francis the DISCOURSES of Meher Baba. Meher
Baba stated that he was the Avatar, the Christ, God in human form. Francis
was extremely interested. The Baron died in 1950 and in 1952 Brabazon
travelled to the USA and met Meher Baba, who made a profound
impression upon him. In 1954 Meher Baba called Brabazon to India where
they travelled to Andhra Pardesh. JOURNEY WITH GOD published in the
same year describes this experience. SEVEN STARS TO MORNING, his
first major book of poems was published in 1956, the year of Meher Baba’s
first visit to Australia. Country Life said of it: ” . . . covers the planet in a
riot of intellectual experience . . . sincerity and much dignity.” This was
followed by publication of a long narrative poem CANTOS OF
WANDERING in 1957 and a book of seven mystical plays SINGING
THRESHOLD in 1958. In the same year Meher Baba visited Australia
again and stayed at a place in Woombye, Queensland, that Francis and
other followers had built for him. This was to become known as Avatar’s
Abode.Subsequent to this visit Meher Baba invited Francis to India again where he
stayed with him as an intimate disciple for the following ten years until
Meher Baba dropped his physical form in 1969. When Brabazon went to
India he took with him the almost complete manuscript of STAY WITH
GOD which Meher Baba had asked him to write. Francis says in the preface
to a later work THE WORD AT WORLD’S END: ” . . . I have infinitely
crafted my ideas before beginning to write; and in my best work the idea
forged its own form of expression. In STAY WITH GOD the opening line
came to me twelve years before I wrote that book. And it was not an odd
line jotted down and forgotten; I carried it with me, noting its
possibilities and acquiring the material it would need.” Meher Baba had
the book read to him three times stating that it gave life to his own book
GOD SPEAKS and said: “My love will touch the hearts of all who read it as
no book has ever done.”
STAY WITH GOD (1959) is a lucid exposition of the Advent on earth, in
our time, of the God-Man and of this living embodiment of Godhood as the
Salvation of Mankind from its state of permanent anxiety and threatened
annihilation. This God-Man is not seen as the Son of a Father, but as
the very Self of each one of us and therefore, easily knowable to
anyone directly, without an intermediary. In the creative process of
perceiving the meaning of the God-Man, the author examines the values of
Mankind, both Eastern and Western, past and present, as represented in
Art and Literature. His language, arising directly from the urgency of his
message and the clarity of his vision, avoids rigid crystallizations, by
which modern poetry is immobilized and essence and vitality excluded.
Upon return to Australia THE WORD AT WORLD’S END (1971) was
published, then IN DUST I SING (1974), a collection of poems written at
the insistence of Meher Baba. These poems were based on the form of the
‘ghazal’ – perfected by the Persian poet Hafiz of Shiraz (1320-1390): Meher
Baba’s favourite form of poetry. Another collection of Brabazon’s
‘ghazals’, THE BELOVED IS ALL IN ALL, were published
posthumously in 1988. Other published works of Francis Brabazon include
(1976), THE SILENT WORD (1978) a biography of the early life of
Meher Baba and THE GOLDEN BOOK OF PRAISE (1982), songs. Some
of his writing remains unedited and unpublished. Francis Brabazon died in
1984. His grave is at Avatar’s Abode on the side of the hill, under the pine
trees, overlooking the ocean.




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