He was to remain friendly with the controversial Norman, and loyal to some of his aesthetic and philosophical ideas.Many of Slessor's early poems were strongly influenced by Lindsay, but he had none of Lindsay's giant egocentricity, and was as devoted to experiment as Lindsay was opposed to it.In 1932 he published his third major collection, Cuckooz Contrey, a collection of illustrated light verse.Darlinghurst Nights (1933) and a collection of children's verse, Funny Farmyard (1933), followed.In 1920 Robert's work took him to China, where his wife and younger children joined him in 1922. As a young man, he was 5 ft 10 ins (178 cm) tall, with blue eyes, reddish hair, a ruddy complexion and a moustache.
In 1922 he declined the editorship of the magazine Art in Australia.
In 1939 the small paperback Five Bells: XX Poems appeared.
Norman Lindsay again provided drawings for Cuckooz Contrey and Five Bells, but Slessor's work increasingly seemed to belong to another world from that of Lindsay.
Slessor became an editor at his old newspaper, the Sun, in April.
During the war he had written only two poems, 'An Inscription for Dog River' (a critique of Sir Thomas Blamey) and the powerfully elegiac 'Beach Burial'.