Judith Wright Essay "Wedding Photograph" and "The Old Prison"

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Poetry, in its many different forms may been seen as a gateway into the deeper layers of a persons inner being that allows their thoughts and opinions to be recognized through their writing. This insight allows readers to gain a wider perspective on the views the poet bears on the many themes and issues raised throughout their poetry. In the poems, Wedding Photograph, 1913 and The Old Prison, poet Judith Wright uses strong imagery to comment on the themes and issues present in society, from the devastation of war which is relayed through the use of personification and alliteration, to the impracticality of altering the past showed by the inclusion of symbolism and simile. This in turn conveys to us the mistakes that we have made as a species and how these faults of humanity have lead to severe repercussions over time. Through the rich imagery provided by Wright, we are influenced to form an opinion on the issues raised in her poetry and thereby induce change to the society we currently reside within, and learn from the blunders made by those in the past.

Imagery is displayed throughout many forms of poetry to deliver clear messages to readers that will ultimately influence their reading. It is through such imagery that a poets view on particular issues present within society is brought to light. In Wedding Photograph, 1913, Judith Wrights views on society in her time was made evident through the insertion of alliteration that contributed to conveying the concept of war, and the devastation it can inflict upon those directly and indirectly involved with it.

But through the smell of a tweed shoulder sobbed-on,Through picnics, scoldings, moralities impartedShyly, the sound of songs at a piano Wright uses alliteration here to emphasize the emotions that are felt by the persona at this stage in the poem. The shoulder sobbed-on really insinuates the despair felt by the persona, and suggests that it is derived from the repercussions of the war time. It is evident that this poem revolves around issues raised during the war, in particular the devastation it caused to the families involved in it. The persona is used by Wright to create an image of reluctance and sadness associated with the concept of her relatives going off to fight in World War One, and due to the fact that Wedding Photograph, 1913 was written in 1976, during the Vietnam war in which approximately five hundred Australian soldiers died, this could have triggered an emotional retaliation by Wright on the devastation the war was inflicting on not only the soldiers but also their families.

Ineloquent, side by side, this country coupleSmiling confettied outside the family house Again alliteration is evident to imply the closeness that is felt between the personas parents, a glimpse of what could have been before the ravages of war came into being. War is the reason Wright never grew up knowing who her parents really were or what they were like, and it is apparent through the imagery Wright presents to us that her opinion on war is a negative one, as we see the damage it inflicted upon her young family. Wright implores that we as humanity will come to our senses, and put an end to senseless conflict that only brings devastation to all who it comes into contact with. If we do not, the negative repercussions that will derive from it could be unimaginable.

Within a poem, imagery is depicted to give meaning and express the thoughts and opinions of a poet on particular issues raised in their poetry. The way in which certain imagery is portrayed will impact on the opinions developed by the reader in accordance to the original opinions put forward by the poet. The Old Prison, another poem by Judith Wright, is filled with imagery that relates to readers her view on human conflict during the colonizing of Australia in the 1800s, and in particular the mutiny aboard the brig Trial in 1816 which brought about its destruction. Wright uses the personification of the wind...
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