Fiona – Adam Lindsay Gordon statue

Adam Lindsay Gordon

Adam Lindsay Gordon statue, Spring Street, Melbourne.

The tradition of erecting statues and permanent street sculpture is hardly unique to Melbourne – and yet the combination of people and subjects honoured and celebrated is. Whenever I see a statue or sculpture in this city for the first time, I like to go and pay my respects to the subject and artist. There are several I revisit regularly, such as this one of Adam Lindsay Gordon, located on Spring street, just near parliament house. It has long fascinated me. Perhaps it’s because some of the subject’s poetry has inexplicably stayed in my mind, where so many other beautiful words have disappeared; or because ALG died young and by his own hand, in 1870. He is buried at Brighton cemetary. Certainly I like the fact that the people of Melbourne appreciated poetry and this man’s work sufficiently (if belatedly) to erect this staute in 1932. Apparently there are others in Australian and a bust in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. As I took this photo, three Japanese tourists gathered behind me. Noticing their interest, I began chatting to them and told them who Adam Lindsay Gordon was. I explained that he probably isn’t well known among the general populace now and then wondered if I had done the poet a disservice. A quick google shows me he does still have many fans –  sufficient to warrant festivals and committes in his honour. This Saturday morning, I salute Adam Linday Gordon, with an excerpt from Ye Wearie Wayfarer, a Ballad In Eight Fyttes and perhaps his best-known words:

‘Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbour,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
KINDNESS in another’s trouble,
COURAGE in your own.’

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One Response to Fiona – Adam Lindsay Gordon statue

  1. Fred says:

    I never knew that about that statue. I used to eat lunch with him frequently, though ’til now was not aware of his words…

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