Poetry by the blacksmith

In an earlier post I introduced Sam Smith, the blacksmith who wrote poetry.

Sam was born in 1870, and worked as a blacksmith in Meadows, in the Adelaide Hills, for at least 50 years until about 1953.   He died in 1964.

View of the township of Meadows, showing the main street running from left to right in the middle, with the general store

View of Meadows from the north, with Ellis’ general store in the centre mid-ground. Photo courtesy of Barry Ellis

Poetry rediscovered

Fortunately, Sam Smith’s family donated his papers to the Local History Centre in Mount Barker, South Australia, where I was able to find some of his poems.  Here is an extract of his poem about Meadows.

Meadows
Aye! I love this little country Town,
Wherein I spent so many happy years:
In childhood days with children ran,
And shared their joy as well as tears.

Oft memory takes me back to youth,
Back to those pioneering days:
I loved their free and open life,
I loved their tales and funny ways.

May flowers by the wayside bloom,
And in the fields bright colours blaze,
And bring thoughts of garden flowers,
Where we had spent our childhood days.

No more our youthful voice will ring,
And laugh aloud with childlike glee:
But memory’s wide and open gate,
Recalls the days that used to be.

(extract of poem by Sam Smith)

Using the poetry

In 2009, the township of Meadows celebrated its 150th anniversary.  A local committee organised a huge number of celebratory activities, including a DVD based on oral histories with residents and former residents of the town, which I was fortunate to undertake.  The title of the DVD was “Beyond the wide open gate”, taken from Sam Smith’s poem.

Cover of the DVD showcasing the history of Meadows through oral history interviews. The cover photo shows the main street of Meadows in 1905.

The front cover of the commemorative 2-DVD set, based on oral history interviews, shows the main street of Meadows in 1905.

Leave a Reply