The lyric "Metho Drinker" is a poem by Judith Wright which concerns death as a result of time and the problems associated with addiction. Judith Wright was born in 1915 and died in 2000 at the age of 85. She was a prolific Australian poet, critic and short story writer writing over 50 books. The poem uses its lyrical form to offer a descriptive insight into the bleak themes which highlights the depressing mood and atmosphere of the poem.
"Metho drinker" tells the story of a homeless person and his addiction to Methylated Spirits, an addiction that will eventually destroy him. Living in the harshness of winter the metho drinker turns to the one thing in his life which keeps him warm, methylated spirits. The content of "Metho Drinker" can be roughly separated between the two stanzas. The first stanza is about the drinker praying to "Nothing and the terrible night" and asking to be relieved of three things: time, light and human cruelty. Whereas the second stanza introduces the drinkers relationship with the metho and his prayers are answered.
There are a number of messages that Wright is trying to convey through the rich words of this poem. The first talks about death and addiction. Wright uses a homeless person throughout the poem to illustrate this because this is where death as a result of addiction is most prominent in society. The drinker is kept nameless to further illustrate this point showing that it could be anyone. Through the seventh line it is clear that Wright is trying to convey a message of a fault in society.
"the cruelty of human eyes that dare not touch nor pity"
Daylight reveals the drinker to society and while people can see him they are taking a blind eye to the problem. If they didn't see him there is no problem. This could be seen as a reflection of the poet's views on society. There are many homeless addicts in society however they are often ignored therefore creating a false sense that there is no problem.
"Metho Drinker" is a...
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