Poems by Adam Lindsay Gordon
Adam Lindsay Gordon was a literary genius and he set down all his sights, sounds, and feelings into the form of poetry, mostly with a pencil whilst horse riding from station to station. In all of his 16 years in Australia, Gordon published four books of poetry and wrote numerous articles for newspapers. He was his own harshest critic, discarding entire poems at whim when a single word exasperated him.
All the experiences that Gordon encountered in the South East of South Australia were completely foreign to him. The landscape, flora and fauna and the weather with hot dry summers and clear starry nights. Also the nearby ocean fascinated him.
I would that with sleepy, soft embracesAdam Lindsay Gordon – The Swimmer
The sea would fold me—would find me rest
In luminous shades of her secret places,
In depths where her marvels are manifest ;
So the earth beneath her should not discover
My hidden couch-nor the heaven above her—
As a strong love shielding a weary lover,
I would have her shield me with shining breast.
Gordon left no doubt that he held the horse in high regard.
In their own generation the wise may sneer,Adam Lindsay Gordon – Visions in the Smoke
They hold our sports in derision ;
Perchance to sophist, or sage, or seer,
Were allotted a graver vision.
Yet if man, of all the Creator plann’d,
His noblest work is reckoned,
Of the works of His hand, by sea or by land,
The horse may at least rank second.
Gordon’s verses have a human touch direct and sincere that only an expert horseman could pen.
Dark-brown with tan muzzle, just stripped for the tussle,Adam Lindsay Gordon – How we Beat the Favourite
Stood Iseult, arching her neck to the curb,
A lean head and fiery, strong quarters and wiry,
A loin rather light, but a shoulder superb.