Our First University

Our university settled into the bushland
by the river
on the sandy coastal plain
and grew its treasures.
Winthrop Hall
laid the form
balconette and arches
porches colonnades
pitched terracotta roofs
and cordova tiles
harmony symmetry and restraint
carved out of local limestone
and sandstone
this Mediterranean pastiche
honouring ages past
and students present.
Rose window looks east to
watch pelicans on the river.
Reflection pond eyes the sky
for floating ducks.
Clocktower looks over forecourt
to highway north
and watches this
Australian Renaissance spread
line colour form and scale
south through gardens
open green spaces
libraries courtyards theatres
and faculty buildings.
Winthrop’s sand quarry
just west
is the Sunken Garden for
quiet hidden repose
entertainment and frolics.
Tropical Grove
waves trees and filters sunlight
onto birds and benches.
Great Court
campus inner realm
frames Reid Library
and its walkway
with lawns azaleas trees
moat with black ducks
and the occasional kookaburra.

Copyright Sandra Roe

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