Song of Hope by Kath Walker

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Australia, Indigenous Australian languages Pages: 7 (2236 words) Published: March 22, 2012
'Song of Hope' Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Look up, my people,
The dawn is breaking,
The world is waking,
To a new bright day,
When none defame us,
Nor colour shame us,
Nor sneer dismay.
Now brood no more
On the years behind you,
The hope assigned you
Shall the past replace,
When juster justice
Grown wise and stronger
Points the bone no longer
At a darker race.
So long we waited
Bound and frustrated,
Till hate be hated
And caste deposed;
Now light shall guide us,
And all doors open
That long were closed
See plain the promise,
Dark freedom-lover!
Night’s nearly over,
And though long the climb,
New rights will greet us,
New mateship meet us,
And joy complete us
In our new Dream Time.
To our father’s fathers
The pain, the sorrow;
To our children’s children
The glad tomorrow.

‘Song of Hope’ is a poem written by Oodgeroo Nuccal (Kath Walker) an Aboriginal Australian. The piece is classified as Aboriginal Australian literature. It was published in the 1960’s. The purpose of the text is to give hope in a new beginning after the events involving the racial tension between the Aboriginals and the white settlers. The poem is directed to the Aboriginal people of Australia who suffered from these events.

This poem relates to Aboriginal Australian as it was written by the hand and views of one, and was written for the Aboriginals. The text itself is very emotive and powerful and I personally was unable to resist the emotions it reverberates however I cannot say whether it would be the same for anyone who could read it. Give a quote to illustrate the point made and then develop your argument

This poem however can be indirectly confronting to those who don’t share the same viewpoints as Walker. good observation The also poem has a degree of stereotyping in the sense where ‘love your people, freedom to the end’ takes place however there none that really strikes out as it. The white Australian perspective above all is silenced in this text, marginalized are her perspectives of the coming days which may well be shared by many like her. 

Kath makes the poem very personal by the use of words like I and we for example, she begins the poem by saying, “Look up, my people”. This makes it feel more tailored for whomever the poem is directed to. be more specific - consider further your well chosen quote. The poem also has a rhyming pattern of ‘not rhyme line’, B, B, C lower case. Also, there is intertextual referencing to the ‘Dream Time’. This poem is much like a story, and very symbolic. In the first verse if you should call it that, it is symbolizing the act of looking up to explain hope. It questions us, why were they looking down? Also, it talks about the dawn breaking which literally means the beginning of a new day but symbolizes a new beginning.

The next verse is made to symbolize the new day, Walkers use of the word brood add quotation marks tells us that she believes her people were keeping the deeds of the past in their minds and not trying to get up and start anew. Another use of quote ? cultural reference ? in the poem is when Walker says ‘point the bone no longer’ which means to sentence one to death. So she is saying let there be no more violence. In the lines that follow ‘till hate be hated’ she means that she is so sick of hate that she has learned to hate hate. She talks about doors being opened symbolizing the freedom which they have long yearned for come, and ‘dark freedom lover’ toosymbolize the mere colour of the Aboriginals skin, to show her belief that dark is not anti-happy, and free etc. Some good ideas here

This text portrays the Australian Aboriginal identity in both negative and positive ways though you have to know what went on with the Aboriginals and the white Australians to understand the negative connotations. For the purpose of this text however, it is very effective in its purpose which is to uplift the Aboriginals spirits and to impart the dawn of their...
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