In this poem I shall compare and analysis two poems ”peaches and cream” by mudrooroo and ”last of his tribe ” by oodgeroo noonuccal. The need for analyzing both poems is that they are dedicated to people who fought for the Aboriginals; only an in-depth analysis can give a clear understanding of their poems.
Analysis The Last of His Tribe by Oodgeroo Noonuccal is a true example of the period of Australian poetry it consist of the paternalistic manner that is was commonly found in the Australian colonists of the 19th century , Oodgeroo Noonuccal gives emphasizes to the loneliness of an Aboriginal tribe ‘s last member. The poet’s complete focus is on the individual’s ambiguity, his suffering and his abhorrent fate.
He detailed dramatization the of the thoughts which the tribe men had, he further dramatizes the memories of hunts of yore and of fights he fought. The poem carries a elegiac mood as the poet invokes a sad and bleak image of Willie Mackenzie, who is the last existing member of his tribe he pictures him as if someone were re kindling the fire of memory in the poet . The poet uses Willie Mackenzie as a symbol of the tribes that disappeared ad the culture and times that are disappearing with them (Derek p24).
The poet emphasizes on elements of fauna as well as the tribe’s cultural artefact such as “boomerangs, nullah, sling as well as spear” abide with wallaroos, rocks as well as thunder. Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s memory of is the most wonderful part about the poem as it helps the poet in describing the past quite clearly: the poet gives an clear illustration of the happy hunts that this tribe experienced prior to the invasion of the white in the twentieth century era.
The poem consists of thirty five lines. It is divided into seven formal verses and consists of ababb rhyming. Oodgeroo Noonuccal was expressive and assertive so much so that she was successful in drawing the reader to her persona. Due to this the reader sympathizes for Willie, exactly like the poet is particular in the line “All gone, all gone. And I feel The sudden sting of tears”. The kind of verse the poet has made use of is a formal verse. The poet tries to give a clear picture of the Australian landscape in verse is exemplified here. Due to her tone and emotions she is successful in portraying the unique proceedings of the Australian scenery as well as their history in a regretful and sympathetic manner. Noonuccal presents, the environmental destruction which we can imagine just by reading the poem and by using the twentieth century style she shows the sad irony of their circumstances.
Whereas Mudrooroo in his poems peaches and cream seems to be talking about a time when the Aboriginal people were fighting for their freedom. His tone is very a strong sad tone, a tone full of hopelessness. His poem is based a on a person who fought for their freedom, till he feel sick and his people did not support him. The way the poet highlights the likes and dislikes of this person symbolizes that he was an ordinary person who just wanted freedom for his people. The reason behind him naming the poem peaches and cream is that’s what this mans; intentions were as sweet and good as peaches and cream is.
The ending of the poem is, similarly to the beginning, ambiguous. It is unclear whom the poet is referring to when he states in the first verse you like peaches and cream, And white bodies made urgent “, also following with the conversional tone established in the last line. One interpretation of this is that he is expressing the realization that if things are going to progress then there is a definite need for greater unity and understanding among all Australian people, without racial division. The utilization of unique kind of rhyming makes the it a wonderful poem. The poem highlights the fact that there were people who were fighting for them so that Aborigines could also be known as “Australian” as White Australians, and the likelihood to unite the two cultures as one so that they might progress together.
The use of the following lines:Perhaps one day I’ll understand,Though many didn’t and called you hypocrite;But they didn’t knowThat even Christian peaches and creamMay be sweet with a taste of injustice,And try to sweeten it more with you.
(www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/assessment/see_english_sub_notice_mar_08.)The above mentioned verse illustrates the fact that the composer is experiencing an inner journey as he is experiencing an internal battle. The poem consists of the poet’s strong emotional feelings for the cause which this person was fighting for, and his control to suppress this anger does not actually diminish the anger.
These lines also exhibit the anger he has for people who called this freedom fighter a hypocrite; he further uses the peaches and cream as symbols of sweetness and richness that he brought to his people.
The line in the last stanza shows confusion:Last night I saw you on the telly,Projecting Jesus and his message,Perhaps one day I’ll understand(www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/assessment/see_english_sub_notice_mar_08.)At the beginning he states that the person he is referring to was a religious person and fought for their freedom while keeping Jesus’s message in mind. But the fact that he says that perhaps one day he will understand could mean that he does not understand the message given by the person who he is referring to , which seems very strange since throughout the poem he is clearly describing his likes and dislikes., and praising him and his efforts.
Undoubtedly then these poems clearly illustrate the eras in which they were written. Themes, craft as well as points of view reflect diverse periods the history of Australia. The enjoyable part of these poems is that they express different emotions and approach so efficiently to us nowadays when we need personal faithfulness, tribal unity and economic certainty.
Derek Lewis; Poetry Workbook, Pascal press 2006 p24www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/assessment/see_english_sub_notice_mar_08.pdf retrieved on 13 July 2008