Monday, May 2, 2011

Andrew Lansdown

Andrew Lansdown is a Baptist writer living in Perth, Australia, who has authored ten collections of poetry. He writes both adult and children’s poetry, has more than fifty published short stories and a trilogy of popular fantasy novels. Les Murray has called him Australia’s greatest Christian poet. The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-century Poetry in English, suggests that because of the Christian stance in Andrew Lansdown’s poetry, perhaps “his work has been neglected and undervalued.” Even so, he is the recipient of many awards, fellowships, and honours.

He is an imagist poet — preferring to share the brief glimpses of his perceptive eye, rather than longer, rambling verse. It has been suggested that the effect of his poetry is cumulative, and can be best appreciated when reading many poems, one after another. His most recent collection of adult poetry is Far From Home (2010).

Rose

The day after I cut it
I notice the white rose
in the pottery vase
on my desk start to wilt.

All day it has been
drooping lower and lower,
until now its small head
is hanging upside down,

lolling loose-haired
against the shoulder
of the vase, as if given
entirely to sorrow.

Parable

for Leroy Randall

Plant a seed, reap a song:
such are the ways of God.

Jesus said his kingdom
is like a mustard seed

which when buried rises
to a tree, and the birds

alight in its branches.
So, from a grain, a surge

of sap and shade, a haunt
of gladness and surprise.

Oh, beyond all desire,
the tree of God abounds

with nests—and a choir!

The Raven

The raven is a black and craven bird,
a bird by the Law unclean.
Its carrion cry on the wind is heard -
the raven, that black and craven bird.
Yet it is the one the Lord by His word
has sent for my keep and keen.
Oh, the raven’s a black and craven bird,
a bird by the Law unclean!

Posted with permission of the poet

I first encountered Andrew Lansdown through “An anthology of Australian Christian Poets” in the journal Stonework. Issue 3, available here

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca