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Judith Wright Poetry

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Judith wright is an Australian poet who has a distinctive way of capturing her unique vision of Australia throughout her poems. Good morning teachers and students, Judith wright is a well-known Australian poet who was born in Armiadale, Australia in May 1915. As she has grown within the land it has allowed her to create a connection which influences the way she presents the landscape that surrounds her. Wrights poems are famous for her inimitable way of capturing the relationships between mankind and the environment. Wrights poems ‘South of my days’ and ‘Platypus’ are perfect examples of how Wright captures these relationships.

One of Wrights unique visions of Australia is that it can be both full of beauty in the flora and fauna and yet to be one of tragedy, this is shown thought-out the poem ‘South of my Days’. Through her experiences within the land Wright has been able to see the beauty such as the flora and fauna and the tragedy within the land through the disasters that can occur such as the drought. Wright shows that the landscape is full of beauty through the use of alliteration; in “Rises that table land, high delicate outline of bony slopes wincing under the winter.” The use of the word ‘delicate’ suggests the beauty of the land. While the alliteration of “wincing under the winter” allows us to feel as though we are placed within the bleak landscape. Also in stanza one we are shown Wrights perspective of the landscape and the beauty she sees.

“Low trees blue –leaved and olive…clean lean hungry country” Wright uses accumulation and personification to suggest to us the fragile and delicate state that the landscape is in due to the extremes of the winter and the drought. Furthermore, Wright expands on the tragedy that comes with this beauty, she is able to do this through using the persona of old Dan, she changes the perspective to old Dan through using a very Australian language, old Dan describes to us the battle that is faced within the landscape and how man’s livelihood and the cattle are challenged in this environment, “Mud around them hardened like iron” the use of the simile allows the us to grasp the concept of how strong and tough the Australian landscape can be and how difficult it can be to battle against.

Wright then progresses to explicates how easily the Australian landscape can take life, “Three hundred head of a thousand-cruel to keep them alive” Wright has used this line to emphasis to the reader just how cruel and tough the landscape can be. Wright has a unique vision of the Australian landscape in which she encapsulates the beauty and tragedy in the landscape through the use of various techniques to help portray her outlook of the landscape.

Australian landscape has changed due to humanity is a common theme used throughout the poem ‘platypus. We are able to see Wrights perception of the landscape changes due to humanity in the use of the destruction of the platypuses’ habitat. The poem explores the destruction that humans have caused and how it has shaped/changed Wrights perspectives on both the landscape and humanity. Within the first and second stanza Wright has contrasted the water from when she was a young girl with the water being clear to when time has shifted and now being “scummy fetor…foul…worn grass” This allows us to see the drastic changed that humans have caused, it allows us to have a better perspective on what she is seeing and to give us a greater understanding on her idea that humans are causing destruction to the landscape.

We then again see how humanity is destroying the pool, “the pool runs thick with car-bodies, cans, oil. The river is dead.” The accumulation and abruptness of her words shows the seriousness of what is happening to the pool. Through the illegal dumping it has led to the destruction of the pool. The use of the word ‘dead’ represents the idea that not only the river is dead but the platypus has died, she reinforces this idea in the poem when saying ‘your gone’. Stanza four finally shows us how she feels about these changes, we see that even now years later she still feels for this platypus that has died due to humanity’s mistakes.

“But at this late midnight suddenly my mind runs clear and you rise through…write a poem for your sake…like the ripples of your wake.” The line “write a poem for your sake” conveys how Wright feels as though she is obliged to tell humanity of what destruction they have caused. The use of the work ‘wake’ portrays to us that the platypus is still in her memory. The Australian landscape has changed due to humanity is a theme that is shown throughout the poem and is made evident what Wright thinks and feels about the change that is happening to the landscape due to humanity.

Judith Wright’s poetry reflects her unique and distinctive vision of Australia to a great extent. She is able to portray her concept of the landscape through the various use of techniques and themes. Two of Wrights poems that conveys her unique vision is ‘South of my Days’ and ‘Platypus’.

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