The poetry of Judith Wright conveys a strong sense of ? Australian Identity’. This is evident though Wright’s strong connection to the sea, using descriptions and personifications of the sea. Wright’s ? Australian Identity’ is firmly established through poetry with her use of ideas that have become synonymous with the Australian stereotype: what people recognise as being uniquely ? Australian’. This includes the description of the stereotypical Australian beach scene and the attitudes shown by the surfer and even the surf in the poem: characteristics recognised as ?
typically Australian’. These features of her poetry have established Wright as a truly ? Australian’ poet. The surf, “grey-wolf sea” sitting on the “whitened pebbles and shells” are images that are recognised as Australian and part of the Australian identity. The surfer too is instantly recognisable as typical Aussie character. He is described as “brown” and he has “muscle” ? he is the stereotype of the bronzed, muscular surfer. The use of these ideas that have become typically Australian show Judith Wright as an Australian poet which in turn reflects the Australian identity.
Judith Wright has a strong connection to the Australian beach, and the ideas she conveys through her poetry are very much steeped in nature. This link to the Australian sea immediately distinguishes Wright as an Australian poet. The Australian connection to the sea and surf is reflected in the repetition of “muscle” to describe both the surfer and the wave expresses the surfer’s connection to the wave and to nature. This connection is further emphasised by the personification of the wave through “long muscle of water”.
The bond of both the surfer and Wright to the sea defines Wright as Australian and reflects Australian’s strong links to the sea. ?Australian’ traits are not shown only by Wright herself, but by characters in her poems. In The Surfer, Wright uses assonance (“those” and “foam”) to describe the wave. This has the effect of creating a long and lazy piece of sound imagery for the reader. The laconic nature of the wave is the same as the typical Australian ? laid back’ spirit giving Wright’s poetry an Australian flavour and such contribute greatly to Wright’s recognition as being an Australian poet.