Nestled in the countryside at Port Macdonnell, South Australia, is Dingley Dell Cottage, once the home of Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon. He came to South Australia from England as a mounted policeman in 1853, and also made a name for himself as a jockey and steeplechase rider before entering politics in 1865.
His first published poem was’The Feud’, printed in the Border Watch newspaper in July, 1864. Two volumes of his poetry were published in 1870, after which Gordon suicided.
After falling into disrepair over the years, Dingley Dell Cottage has been restored and now operates as a museum, displaying Gordon’s horse-riding themed drawings, letters, and some of his personal possessions.
I was privileged to visit Dingley Dell on Saturday and see Gordon’s home and belongings for myself. My time there gave me a sense of connection with a poet whose works I confess I have read and studied less than other Australian poets, and motivated me to address that oversight.