Henry Lawson

Above is was? a track from the Disquiet Junto last week that uses a poem by Henry Lawson. I've seen a couple of references to the writer this week, so I thought I'd bring them together here.

Lawson was well known as a poet when his friends organised for him to be offered a job in Leeton, the town where I live. He arrived in 1916 for a job promoting the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, which was under construction. It was a 'dry' area and his friends hoped Lawson would have a break from his alcoholism.

There's a story that Lawson would travel to nearby Narrandera for a drink, then his horse would walk him home while he slept in a carriage. In one of his letters Lawson described summer as being hot enough that your washing would dry in the time it took to run around the house. As you can see from this picture, he lived in a small house and he shared it with a housekeeper.

In recent years the old cottage has been restored by the local council and is used for much of the year as a residence for visiting doctors. When Lawson lived in it he found time to collect his poems for publication. The picture here was taken in 2010, I think. These days there's a statue of the poet in the front yard that looks a like the figure of Lawson shown in the image above.