Few poets have explored the weight and wonder of fatherhood like Andrew Lansdown. Over the years, Andrew has established a high reputation for his subtle, insightful poems about his wife and children.
I have known Andrew Lansdown for over two decades. As a songwriter and would-be poet, I have long admired Andrew’s poetry and turn of phrase.
Acclaimed poet and critic Geoff Page observed, “Lansdown has a very sincere and direct way of handling poems about his immediate family, which subtly suggests great tenderness without becoming sentimental.”
World-renowned Australian poet Les Murray claimed that “no one writes of family love with more tenderness than he.”
Now, for the first time, Andrew’s widely published, award-winning poems celebrating family life are gathered in one collection, Gestures of Love.
These fatherhood poems are bound to delight and move all readers — not only parents, but also anyone interested in the joy, grief and quirkiness of the human condition.
Andrew and his wife, Susan, have five children: three sons and two daughters, who were born over an 18-year period. Their first son was at university when their last son was born. This is why Andrew could write about a one-year-old son in 1978 and again in 1996.
The poems in Gestures of Love span 35 years of fatherhood and are selected from twelve published collections of poetry. Many of these poems have been revised since they first appeared in Andrew’s other books. Some previously uncollected poems are also included.
As fathers, we have all enjoyed the welcome our children give on our return home. This is especially the case when we have been away for some time. Our children’s exuberant celebration of our homecoming is indeed something to behold.
It is thrilling to be so loved.
Hearing my step on the veranda
he bellows to Mum that I’m home
and races to the door to greet me.
To be so loved. It is thrilling.
Seeing me he bursts into welcome,
with glad prattle, great prancing
and that sheer shine on his face!
© Andrew Lansdown
I don’t know if you are like me, but I think our children can rescue us from our otherwise boring adult world. We need our children perhaps more than they need us. The poem below brims with the unbridled joy that our children bring to us.
I sing a rhyme for my daughter
of a teapot short and stout.
She mimes a clumsy kettle,
crooks a handle, points a spout.
The world is wide with danger,
my life is dark with doubt,
but a child commands me sweetly,
‘Come on, Daddy, dance and shout!’
Sometimes I sense my children
have turned my life about.
They top me up with gladness,
tip me over, pour me out.
© Andrew Lansdown
Andrew’s poems don’t just cover fathers and children, but they address the mystery of love itself. The mystique and charm of the sexual attraction between a man and woman, and so much more.
She lifts her long skirt
to cradle the windfalls.
Her legs are very white,
like the flesh of apples.
Some things about women
a woman can never know.
Else she would not stand
with her skirt caught up.
Or she would more often.
She stands in the shade
of the laden tree, unaware
I am aware of her legs.
Beloved, even the apples
are blushing in your lap.
© Andrew Lansdown
Gestures of Love is a good name for a book about family and fatherhood. In so many ways, being a dad is a mystery of love that’s hard to put into words. That’s why poems and songs are so important.
Good news. The first 47 people to register for the Daring Dads Zoom Webinar this coming Wednesday night at 8 p.m. AEST, 14 June 2023, will receive a free copy of Gestures of Love by Andrew Lansdown.
Even better news! Yes, there are still free copies available, but you will have to be quick.
Special guests at the Daring Dads Webinar include Dr Allan Meyer, writer of Valiant Man, and creator of the Valiant Man Course. Also sharing will be Brett Davis, who is passionate about mentoring and fathering, plus Scott Hanzy, who is a committed father of four boys and a great source of wisdom on men’s issues. (By the way, these inspiring men will be speaking at the Men’s Leadership Summit, 4-6 August 2023).
Another dad who will be sharing live this coming Wednesday is Crawford Dagger. Crawford has overcome great odds to be a father to his children. Hear his amazing story this Wednesday night!
Register for the Daring Dads Zoom Webinar to receive the login details and free resources listed below.
Yours for More Gestures of Love,
PS: Confirming that the first 47 Dads to register for the Daring Dads Zoom Webinar this Wednesday will receive a FREE Gestures of Love book of Fatherhood poems by Andrew Lansdown.
The next 24 Dads to register will receive a FREE: Little Blue Book of Father Tips by Dr Bruce Robinson.
These FREE downloadables will also be available when you register:
- Great tips, articles and resources on being an awesome dad.
- How to Be a Good Dad — Twelve Simple Steps.
- The King of Custard Castle — fun elementary fiction: children’s book, 6-9 years old.
- Top 10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage.
- 100 Ways to Praise a Child — downloadable poster.
- 7 Science-Backed Secrets for Achieving Success in Life.
- Daughters and Dads fact sheet from Dads4Kids.
Looking forward to seeing you on the ‘Daring Dads Webinar’ next Wednesday, by Zoom, at 8PM AEST, 14 June 23. You must register to get the ZOOM login details.
Photo by iddea.