Poetry Speech Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 15 September 2016

Poetry Speech

Good morning everyone, thank you fellow poetry lovers, for taking the time out of your Sunday afternoon to come and show your appreciation for fine Australian poetry. The two poems that I would like to share with you today in relation to Multicultural Australia are Fourteen Poor men, by Mary Gilmore, and Migrants by Margarret Scott in regards to multicultural Australia. I have a great love for not only these poems, but the poets also. Both Scott and Gilmore played a significant role in contemporary Australian poetry.

Gilmore especially, she was a truly amazing woman and is one of the great figures of Australian social history and literature. I have already mentioned that I have a great love for both of these poems, and you are probably wondering what is so special about them? Time for me to help you see why they are so amazing. Both of these poems are telling the audience a story of personal experience.

However, the poets use different poetic structures to convey their message. Fourteen Poor Men is written as a lyrical, where as Migrants is written in ballad form. Let me briefly shed some light onto each of the poets, and their backgrounds, which might help you all to have more of an understanding into some of the impacts on their writing. So first of all, let’s start with Mary Gilmore.

I could talk about this woman for days, because she did so many amazing things in her life. I guess that the quickest way that I can get across to you just how much she did, is by telling you about her column in the Australian Worker, which she remained editor of the Women’s page from 1908 right up until 1931. Through her column, Gilmore campaigned for many different social and economic reforms, such as the women’s vote, child endowment, the relief of the poor, old age and invalid pensions and the just treatment of Aborigines.

Now moving onto to Margaret Scott. The basic background behind Scott, is that she migrated over to live in Tasmania, from Bristol in the UK. Now that you have an extremely brief idea of each of the cultural aspect behind each author, I will now move onto the part that you are all here for. The poems. Firstly, I am going to deconstruct the more gritty of the two, Migrants. The title is a bit of a spoiler, and basically describes what the poem is obviously about, migration from the UK, to Australia.

A poetic technique that is repeatedly used in this poem, is personification. It is used quite a bit in the first stanza. ‘the liner’s arid gaiety, thirsting For roots and cover, hungry for the solid fare’. The reason that Scott does this is to try and convey to the audience that on her journey over from the UK, she is seeming to notice the way that everything around her is feeling or acting, yet in the first stanza, she doesn’t really say how she is feeling much at all.

She lets the audience know of her personal fear in stanza 2, where less 1 1 [Type text] [Type text] [Type text] Kyah Fry personification is used, and more of her own emotions come through. Personification being the main poetic device in Migrants, the most obvious technique in Fourteen Poor Men is allusion. The reason for this, is because you, the audience, are required to have a basic knowledge of Australian history, to be able to deconstruct, and make sense of this poem.

Once you pick up that the main technique used in this poem is allusion, you can look at the poem in a different light altogether. If you read into the poem deep enough, you could argue that the reason Gilmore used this technique so much (Need a better word choice for ‘so much’), is because she wants the reader to understand that you must have some sort of knowledge of your own countries historical events and what has scoupled us into the country and society that we are today, to be able to even remotely understand someone else’s culture.

Once again, thank you all so much for taking time out of your Sunday afternoon to come and learn more about fine Australian poetry. I hope that I have given you an insight into the poems that I discussed today, in regards to Multicultural Australia, and how is has progressed. I hope that I have been able to confirm your love for Australian poetry, and made you even more passionate. Have a great afternoon everyone, and feel free to ask me questions after the meeting.


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 15 September 2016

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