Year 11 Preliminary English Advanced Course 2005
Module A: The poetry of Judith Wright- An Australian Experience?
June 8 2005
Reporting the balance between the ¡§distinctly Australian¡¨ and the universal in a selection of Judith Wright¡¦s poetry, being Eve to her Daughters, Remittance Man and South of my Days.
This report discusses the influences of Australia as well as the universal impact on the poetry of Judith Wright. It contains an evaluation of both the techniques and the ¡¥plot¡¦ behind the poems ¡¥Remittance Man¡¦, ¡¥South of My Days¡¦ and ¡¥Eve to her Daughters¡¦ as well as a comparison between the three poems. Australia, as Wright¡¦s homeland, has had a significant effect on the content of her poems but references to English scenes are also consistent as well as general references to the universal world.
Eve to Her Daughters.
The poem ¡¥Eve to Her Daughters¡¦ tells of original sin and gives advice to the women (her daughters) of today from Eve regarding men. The first stanza describes the consequences of the fall but Eve¡¦s acceptance of it. The second and third stanzas describe Adam¡¦s rebellion against the punishment and the ¡§insult¡K the trick They had played on us¡¨, ¡¥They¡¦ being God and Satan whom Adam has grouped together as a united opposition. Adam was discontent with the new life and strove to build a new Eden and put God ¡¥out of business¡¦. The third and fourth stanzas tell the audience about Adam¡¦s attempt to understand how the world works and to disprove God¡¦s existence. In his quest to unravel everything he decides that if it ¡§cannot be demonstrated [it] does not exist¡¨. In this process he proves that humans themselves cannot exist and ¡§refuses to accept the conclusion¡¨. The conclusion of the poem is in a sarcastic tone as a final message to Eve¡¦s ¡¥daughters¡¦ that everybody has faults and they always work out. She suggests that Adam is too stubborn to...
References: The very first line of ¡§South of my Days¡¨ tells us that the poem is about Australia as it is Judith Wright¡¦s home country (¡§part of my blood¡¦s country¡¨). The ¡§tableland¡¨ described in lines 2 and 3 are distinctly Australian as well as the trees mentioned in line 4. In stanza 2 the use of the word ¡§yarn¡¨ is also Australian.
Stanza 3 is one of ¡§Old Dan¡¦s¡¨ stories about a cattle muster, another distinct Australian reference especially with the inclusion of a drought mentioned and the Hunter Valley.
Stanza 4 is another story containing references to particular places such as Tamworth and the Bogongs, as well as specific references to Australian legends such as the Cobb & Co. mail service and Captain Thunderbolt the bushranger, all of which are uniquely Australian.
The balance between Australia and the universal in the poetry of Judith Wright is fairly even though it does lean more towards Australian poetry. The main references in her poetry are towards England, Australia and the Bible, all of which she had grown up with and had obvious strong influences on her. The love of her country Australia is evident in many of her poems.
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