When reading poetry, it is often vital to have an awareness of its context. Particularly in the works of Judith Wright, it is important to have a familiarity with her life and also some knowledge of Australian during her time. Without an understanding of the context, poems such as "Woman to Man" and "Bora Ring" could be challenging when considering what they are reflecting on. However other poems such as "Rainforest", do not require such an in depth comprehension of the context to be appreciated.
"Woman to Man", a poem comprising of four stanzas, each with four verses, was written by Judith Wright in nineteen forty-nine. This poem could quite easily be enjoyed as a poem that is chiefly concerned with nature. The first stanza opens with "The eyeless labourer in the night, the selfless, shapeless seed I hold, builds for its resurrection day" and for readers with little or no knowledge of Judith Wright's life, it would be easy to accept this as a simple reference to nature as is quite common in Wright's work, without looking for any deeper meaning. However, in order for the poem's ideas to be understood completely, it is necessary to know that when this poem was written that Judith Wright was in fact pregnant. Upon acquiring this knowledge, the rest of the poem seems to quite fittingly explore pregnancy and female sexuality.
For complete appreciation with Judith Wright's "Bora Ring", an awareness of Australian and particularly Aboriginal history. "Bora Ring" is an entertaining poem that explores Aboriginal culture. The poem opens with the verses "The song is gone; the dance is secret with the dancers in the earth", a simple representation of a lost dance. Devoid of any understanding of Australian and Aboriginal history, the full impact of the poem cannot be felt. This poem is a vivid exploration of the disappearance of Aboriginal culture at the hands of the colonisers of Australia. With this knowledge, it is easier to understand exactly what "the tribal story...
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