Analysis of Coolungar thieves
Good morning/Afternoon I was called upon to deliver a poem in the ‘Take Part’ festival which is a festival within the local community. It is held to advocate that art and literature are tools to create awareness about social, cultural and global issues. The poem that I chose for the event was ‘Coolungar Thieves’, published in April 1999. It is a poem by Graeme Dixon in which outlines what really happened, from his view, in the stolen generation. This issue is still present in today’s society. In regards to the flow on effect which has effected a number of generations. Graeme Dixon, the poet, is an indigenous man. He has faced many difficulties throughout his life including being an orphan, being expelled from school and serving time in prison. Fremantle prison was where Dixon spent the 9 years. His passion for writing began there. Due to restriction in the prison, Dixon hid his work under the bed in his cell. After prison Dixon, 27 at the time, began a tertiary education and studied politics, communication and Aboriginal studies. Dixon has continued to publish his work and has become an inspiration to the indigenous youth. The issue of this poem is the stolen generation. The stolen generation was a dark time in Australia’s history reigning from 1900 to the late 1960’s. Indigenous children, majority half-caste were removed from their families because they were ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘at risk in their own communities’. Throughout the period 10-30% of children were forcibly removed by authorities. These times are still reflected in today’s generations by the mysteries of their indigenous cultural and family heritage. The poem was constructed in first person, this gives the story a very personal feeling from the author. Dixon shares the thoughts of the characters through the language he uses, for example in the fourth stanza ‘beware of their bold, cold stares, those icy snake eyes are looking down’ take the readers through the mind...
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