4.2 Poetry Analysis

"My Country" is a poem by Dorothea Mackellar.
This poem is a tribute to Australia written by a young woman longing for her homeland. Created in an act of homesickness, the poem describes the unique and beautiful country and its landscapes. From oceans to desert, the author speaks of her love of this country above any other, saying she cares not for the rolling fields of England. But rather loves a “sunburnt country”. Without touching on racial issues, rights or custodianship of the land, the poem is simply written by a woman who loves her country, not because of the race of people she belongs to, or the impact that that race has had here, she just loves it, ”The wide brown land for me!”This poem has been excellently written, particularly for the time period it was written in. Since racism towards aboriginals was so widespread and severe, to write a poem displaying such love towards the land without claiming any ownership towards it was either a lucky accident, or colonial poetry at its best.

We believe when looking at Aboriginal poetry of and remarking on this era of Australia’s history, we could not create a wiki without including this poem. Not only is the poem’s response a helpful insight into the opinion many native Australia’s have on the white man’s invasion of this land. But we also chose this poem as it is such a beautiful depictions of Australia’s landscape. Regardless of your race, beliefs, age or cultural background you can enjoy this poem all the same. It is also related to the topic as because it was written by a white person, many Aboriginal people were furious that a woman who had “come with the ships” is calling this place home. And the response to this poem, “the new true anthem” by Kevin gilbert was written many years later, in modern times. His poem tells of the damage the white people have dome to that land, they’re cities and farms soaking up all the natural resources and destroying countless acres of sacred bushland, the poem tells of how we “could stand tall and free” but are a nation, of hat, tyranny and dictatorship, Who will never stand tall and free, until the white man has left forever.

"My Mother The Land" is a poem by Phill Moncrieff.
The poem 'My Mother and The Land' by Phill Moncrieff is a true heart-felt poem. Moncrieff shows the dedication and love the aboriginals had for their country, Australia, the beautiful peaceful land, which they admired as their Mother. The land in which they lived in and off was their mother and they were her children. The Aboriginals turned to their Mother for guidance and love, “So we turned to the land, our Mother the land, for comfort, our refuge at last”, showing the mother figure. The white-men came onto their Motherland and took over with pride no regrets or guilt came through their minds. They didn’t care who the hurt or what they did, “the white system of life, it cuts like a knife” showing the lack of care the white people had for the aboriginals. The white settlement changed the way of living for the aboriginals, “the sadness you feel as you weep on your own, while your children remain scattered and torn”, mentioning how the white people took away aboriginal children and the heartbreak and trauma this caused, and how their lives really changed when the white people settled. They believe that was the end of aboriginal life, even the next generation was already changing, “but the feeling was gone, brown children now born, not black like you gave in the past”, showing how they were changing from black to brown from the white settling men. The white people were controlling and the motherland was weakening to the way they lived their lives.

Our group choose this poem because it talks about how the mother of the land is like the aborigines mother and they are her children. The relationship of that of a mothers and a child is strong and compassionate symbolising that what the aborigines feel towards their land (Australia) is as strong as a mothers and child’s. When the poet says that “But now your soul, like a rock waterhole Is drenched, not from water, but tears” it is said from the aborigine’s point of view. Its like when you see your own mother crying it breaks our heart so when they saw/felt that she/the land was crying because of the invasion of the white people who are described as a disease, “That their skin is but a disease” they wanted to do something which resulted in violent conflicts and multiple deaths. We choose it because the poem shows the relationship between the aborigines and Australia and how they felt and how they felt the country felt when the white people (whom they have never seen before) invaded their homeland. Our topic relates to this poem because of the relationship shown from the aborigines to their country and how the white settlement had scattered and torn the mothers/lands children/aborigines, “While your children remain scattered and torn”. It shows that as soon as they arrived the land started to change, “But your landscape is rapidly changing” and the mother was soon disappearing by being overpowered by the white settlers. “But the Mother has been raped by the white mans' greed, Her spirit has turned into sand” meaning there is no more hope as they have over taken and there’s nothing they can do because of the death of their mother/death of the true country, Australia.