Story: Poetry

Arthur Adams, 1899

Arthur Adams, 1899

This pencil sketch of Arthur Adams is from his book, Maoriland, and other verses (1899). Adams was a journalist who worked on a cantata and opera with the composer Alfred Hill, and as a young man was interested in the developing cultural traditions of a new society. He wrote one important novel, Tussock land, and one significant volume of verse, Maoriland, and other verses, before becoming the editor of the Bulletin's Red Page (the Sydney periodical's page of opinion and literary gossip) in 1906 and spending the rest of his life in Sydney. His poem 'The dwellings of our dead', from the 1899 volume, looks at the graves of the first generation of settlers in New Zealand. The last verse is:

They came as lovers come, all else forsaking,
The bonds of home and kindred proudly breaking
             They lie in splendour lone –
The nation of their making
             Their everlasting throne!
(Allen Curnow, ed., The Penguin book of New Zealand verse. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960, p. 114)
Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Arthur H. Adams, Maoriland and other verses. Sydney: Bulletin Newspaper Company, 1899, frontispiece
Drawing by George Washington Lambert

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How to cite this page:

John Newton, 'Poetry - Colonial poetry', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 September 2023)

Story by John Newton, published 22 Oct 2014