Australian Landscape Poetry

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“Poetry is a powerful means of conveying important ideas.” Discuss this statement in reference to 3 poems you have studied as part of the Landscape Poetry Unit. In “Late Summer Fires” Murray initially establishes the powerful idea that there is an inextricable relationship between mankind and the landscape, in which nature suffers according to humankind’s treatment of it. He attributes the destructive fires and the death associated with them to Whiteman’s unsustainable farming practices. A dysfunctional relationship between the two is first established in Murrays extended metaphor of a man shaving; ‘paddocks shave black/ with a foam of smoke that stays’. The statement implies that the fires have caused widespread destruction that will not easily be forgotten. Murray then states “ in the white of the drought/ this happens”, symbolically using the colour ‘white’ to indicate that the drought and fires are caused by White settlers. In this sense, Murray represents the landscape as a victim of mankind’s practices and the dysfunctional relationship that exists between the two. In” Creek” , Luke Davies illustrates a similar relationship, in which the complex beauty of nature is ideal in fostering loving relationships between humans. Davies describes the “the sun/Blesses all of [the lovers] ...watery kisses” and “the reeds caress” their ankles. This sensual language suggests a deeply innate connection between the natural landscape and loving human relationships. Davies has personified the ‘sun’ and ‘reeds’ as a divine being, who is celebrating and nurturing the lovers’ experience as they become immersed in nature. Consequently, Davies is illustrating the inextricable bond that exists between humans and the natural environment. It is this bond that can unite humans in shared feelings of love and purity and {text:change-start} metaphorically {text:change-end} transport them “outside of time” as they celebrate this. Similarly, North of Mount Cameron West, Louise Oxley...
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