Robert Gray

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Robert Gray is an Australian poet whose work is closely linked with nature. He grew up in the post ww11 era, and lives on the north coast. The poems ‘The Meatworks’, and ‘Flames and Dangling Wire’, express how he feels about life, his experiences and his beliefs. His poetry has such an enduring nature because it can be understood in so many different contexts, and includes universal themes which remain relevant to societies past, present and future.

In ‘The meatworks’ Gray presents a vivid and disturbing description of a North Coast slaughter house. It demonstrates Roberts’s concern of the cruelty and indifference of humankind’s relationship with nature. Sensory imagery is one of the strongest techniques used by the poet. ‘...grinding around inside it, meat or not, solidified like candle wax.’ This appeals to the reader through the use of vivid images that are not only visual but also aural and tactile. Gray creates stifling, oppressive images that characterises the repulsive atmosphere meatworks. The use of personification in the phrase “…gutters crawled off” emphasises the environment in which he is working. It suggests that the gutter is an oozing beast. The line ’blood around his finger nails’ can be interpreted in two ways depending on the reader. One is the literal meaning, of the unpleasantness of been unable to get the blood from his job off his fingers, while it can also be interpreted as that his job makes him feel guilty all the time, where the blood is the guilt. Robert gray intended to show readers the inhumanity of the acts take out during the poem ‘Meatworks,’ some people due to their personal contexts such as vegetarianism are more strongly affected by the poem and its issues, while others aren’t so concerned. In ‘Flames and dangling wire’ Gray’s concern for humankind’s relationship with the natural world. The poem portrays humankind’s assault and separation from and on the natural environment, turning the beauty of nature into the...
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