Analysis of the poem ‘My Country’ by Oscar Krahnvohl
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Starts with ‘I love a sunburnt country’, which is the exact wording of the second stanza in the original poem by Dorothea Mackellar. This particular stanza (from the original) is the most oem by Oscar Krahnvohl like environmental issues, humanity issues, cultural issues and politicwell-known, and by Oscar starting with this particular line, he exposes the brilliance of the previous poem, but the next few lines start as a parody from the influence of the previous poem.
In this stanza there are very similar lines towards the original for e.g. ‘A land of open drains’ to the original ‘A land of sweeping plains’. Oscar talks about the urban sprawl across the country, with references to taking over land that was once a sign of nature to busy towns, buildings being built and the spread of investors coming from overseas. Oscar still uses the structure of the original with the lines rhyming in the places on the same lines; which make this stanza and poem very enjoyable to read.
This stanza is particularly about the nature and wildlife which is obvious to the reader as it starts of with, ‘a nature-loving country…’ but the message is then changed after the line ‘Beneath whose golden wattles’, which are an Australian identity in the bush, he also suggests that beneath the wondrous beauty of the wattles there are creeks filled with newspapers and broken bottles. Oscar also uses a very blunt but concerned tone in these two lines, he uses words to show his disgust at how much the environment has been littered in.
In the last three lines of this stanza it tells us of the hot weather, ‘Still whose cities chafe’, and how most of the public water (beaches, lakes etc.) are relatively safe to bathe in which says that it is hardly safe to swim in this water as they hold habitats to dangerous creatures. In this stanza we see that Oscar is quite cynical in the way where he contradicts himself with a ‘nature-loving country’ to a country filled with waste.
In this stanza the country is labelled a ‘music-loving country’ and that music pays as a big part of our life as it rings across the land, as we listen to it on our transistor radios (which as quoted ‘we listen to midnight, dawn and noon’), which also contain jingles (advertisements) which devotes us to a certain brand. But besides music-loving we are invaded by U.S. idols that are not part of the country and as music itself is quite terrible.
This stanza relates to how the transistor radio was introduced and the many other things that followed it, advertisements that brainwashed and ‘world’
music from the U.S. that destroyed the Australian culture. But it also depicts how much Australia love their music.
The first couple of lines in this stanza state that the production of buildings are spreading over the great hills, but he uses personification to describe them taking over e.g. ‘Brave military pylons that march o’er scenic hills’ as if to say they were taking over them as an army would march bravely. The next few lines of the stanza propose that the country is changing into an image of faded neon lights, overly used paint, having pets and popping pills.
The next line, ‘I love her massive chimneys’, depicts a similarity to Dorothea’s ‘I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,’ which again is a mockery of her work. In this same line and the others that follow comes back to the topic of pollution, production factories as the next factor to become involved to the insight of smoke being poured into the atmosphere. The repetition of the pollution and destruction to the environment may suggest that Oscar acted very strongly towards this cause.
‘A democratic country’, opens this stanza with the following three lines that provoke some issues of the democratic scene, like all earth’s children are equal, where, we are safe from fear’s attacks and to save the other ‘races’ that stand between the system. The next two lines tell of man’s obsession with their space adventure of invading the nine planets. The stanza ends on asking what ‘he’ shall find to equal this sunburnt land. This stanza stands on a political quota, are we really a democratic society?
Overall this poem is a parody of Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country’ but also many other issues stand out in this pal issues. It is very cynical towards the original but it is also an ‘updated’ version of ‘My Country’ as the statements made by Mackellar were 75 years ago and the country has much changed since then. These poets were also coming from a different environment from each other, one from the country and the other from the city.