Lesbia Harford, nee; Keogh was born in 1891. She was the eldest of four children and was born with defective heart valves which restricted her mobility and caused her to tire easily, a continual problem that was to amplify with age.
Raised firstly within the middle classes and then with the family bankruptcy and the consequential departure of her father who ran off to the West Australian goldfields, the fact that her mother entered paid work to make sure her children had an education ascribed Harford with a view of society based around both class struggle and feminism.
Her writing of poetry began in her adolescence and continued her work upon entering Melbourne University ... more »
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Lesbia Harford Poems
Sometimes I can see When I teach Half my children talk Each to each.
A Meaning Learnt
I'm not his wife. I am his paramour: His wayside love, picked up in journeying: Rose of the hedgerows; fragrant, till he fling
Child Sun Why will you play Peep Bo Now in, now out The workroom window so?
Today I'd like to be a nun And go and say My rosary beneath the trees out there.
A Prayer To Saint Rosa
When I am so worn out I cannot sleep And yet I know I have to work next day
A bunch of lilac and a storm of hail
A bunch of lilac and a storm of hail On the same afternoon! Indeed I know Here in the South it always happens so,
Sometimes I think God has his days For being friends. He says: 'Forgive my careless ways. No one pretends
Beauty And Terror
Beauty does not walk through lovely days. Beauty walks with horror in her hair. Down long centuries of pleasant ways
A Strike Rhyme
The strike's done. The men won. The ships sail the sea To bring back
'I want a parlourmaid.' 'Well, let me see If you were God, what kind of maid she'd be.' 'She would be tall,
Cherry plum blossom in an old tin jug
Cherry plum blossom in an old tin jug — Oh, it is lovely, beautiful and fair, With sun on it and little shadows mixed
He's out of work! I tell myself a change should mean a chance, And he must look for changes to advance,
A Bronte Legend
They say she was a creature of the moor, A lover of the angels, silence bound. She sought no friendships. She was too remote,
A Blouse Machinist
Miss Murphy has blue eyes and blue-black hair, Her machine's opposite mine So I can stare At her pale face and shining blue-black hair.
Comments about Lesbia Harford
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Sometimes I can see
When I teach
Half my children talk
Each to each.
Then I almost wish
I could be
Very fierce and they
Scared of me.
They will all be still
For one man
Who could never teach
As I can.
He is kind and strong,
He has never sought
If he might do both
That were good.
In my life I knew
One who could.
She was dark and sweet,
Very full of dreams,
Full of scorn.
Hell and heav'n was she,
Like the sun.
My dear children need
Such a one.