Poem Analysis – I am Australian by Bruce Woodley and My Country by Dorothea Mackellar
The two poems that I have chosen to analyse are “I am Australian Written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton and “My country” written by Dorothea Mackellar. Both poems portray the love for the country and the sense of belonging as both of these writers are Australian born bush poets. The poem “I am Australian” relates to the concept of belonging to and national identity. Repetition of ‘I Am Australian’ reinforces this, imagery of the environment and creates a link between the nation and the self, and thus the person is intimately connected to the country. The Poem is about celebrating diversity in Australia, between the people and the land. The second poem “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar portrays the beauty of the Australian outback landscape and she declares her love of the country. It was written in order to inform people about the beauty and the wilderness of this country. Both of these poems relate to the theme of belonging to the country Australia. The techniques I will be using for analysis are rhyme, language, imagery and form. In the ‘I am Australian’ song which goes – “we are one, but we are many” it can be seen as an expression of cultural inclusion. It tells us the story of a nation of immigrants .The first stanza is like an extended metaphor for example, I came from the dreamtime
From the dusty red-soil plains
I am the ancient Heart
All of these create a visual representation in the readers mind about the country. Repetition of “I am Australian” reinforces this, imagery of the environment and creates a link between the nation and the person thus one feels connected to the country. I believe the song is about celebrating diversity in Australia, between the people and the land. It describes the people as being an aborigine, a digger’s daughter, a battler, a bushy and so on. It describes the land as being as diverse as the people, but one common thing they all have in common is they are Australian. The verses of the song speak with pride of the values, traditions and accomplishments of the Australia, including our proud indigenous history. In the second poem ‘My Country’, Dorothea Mackellar portrays the beauty of her country; Australia. Dorothea Mackellar uses imagery technique like alliteration, for example, “for flood and fire and famine to characterise rural Australian Life and repetition of words or phrases like “core of my heart, my country!” to show a sense of belonging. The poem is full of metaphors, for example “an opal-hearted country”.
Some metaphors include personification. For instance, she uses “her” for nature and regards nature as a mother or woman. Moreover, this illustrates her love of Australia. Australia is not just a piece of land to this poet; she has a relationship with this land, and that is why she refers to it as if it were a person. In her poem Dorothea personifies Australia.” She portrays Australia as beautiful because of this wildness. This is conveyed in the phrase “my love is otherwise” that concludes the stanza on England, and the phrase “I love a sunburnt country” that introduces the following stanza on Australia. This illustrates her love of Australia. Australia is not just a piece of land to this poet; she has a relationship with this land, and that is why she refers to it as if it were a person.
Dorothea’s poem uses language in a way that differs from our ordinary expression whereas Woodley and Newton use free verse and there is chorus. In “I am Australian, there is more focus on outback whereas “my country” is more about Mother Nature. Dorothy uses more personification than Woodley and Newton. Moreover, Woodley and Newton have made reference to real life Australian life identity such as Ned Kelly, Matilda, Clancy and Albert Namajera which alludes to Australian Identity Whereas Dorothea mostly uses personification.
In conclusion, I have found that both of these poems refer to typical Australian lifestyles such as, being free, living around native Australian icons and having an Australian Identity and have a sense of belonging to Australia. This key point is to be proud of being an Australian which will help to have a positive Australian identity. Both writers show their pride of belonging to Australian.