Adam Lindsay Gordon was a trooper, horse-breaker, politician and poet. Especially, he had a unique understanding of a horse.
His famous ‘Leap’ at Mount Gambier has never been equalled. Gordon was regarded as both a fearless man of action and a dreamer.
Taken seriously as a poet only after his death, he is now lauded as Australia’s national poet, and honoured with a bust in Westminster Abbey, alongside the likes of Tennyson and Shakespeare.
Review by Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum, p.13, 17 April 2004:
“It is now hard to imagine that there’s a plaque in Cheltenham, England, where Adam Lindsay Gordon lived for a time, which reads `The poet of Australia lived here in boyhood’. Not ‘a poet’ but `the poet’. Time has not been kind to our 19th-century balladeers and doggerel writers. Gordon is all but forgotten. Few people remember his great dramatic moments: his spectacular leap on a horse on the edge of the Blue Lakes at Mount Gambier, and his suicide on Brighton Beach in Melbourne. Still, for the people of south-eastern South Australia, Gordon is worthy of celebration, and his home, Dingley Dell near Port MacDonnell, is a local tourist attraction. This book, a typical piece of carefully researched local history, mixes Gordon’s poetry with poems and stories about him. Though it doesn’t get close to understanding the enigmatic writer, it does cover the main events in his short life.”