Judith Wright Essay

1275 Words Oct 1st, 2011 6 Pages
Judith Wright is a prominent figure in Australian literature, as well as an environmentalist and social activist. This plays a major role in her various collections of poems, where she explores both national and personal concerns. These include her fight for Aboriginal land rights, as well as personal experiences such as pregnancy and motherhood. Through her poetry, Wright is able to give voice to the interest of social groups who are often denied one. Wright’s poem “Woman to Child” primarily focuses on very personal matters. An intense lyric style is used to convey the process of childbirth and her view on motherhood. These concerns are represented through techniques such as persona, figurative language, structure and rhythm. The use …show more content…
Most of the works explore ideas of childbirth, the natural process of aging, and the principle of love. Wright is uses her romantic imagery and strong use of persona to give voice to women and empower them. The poem “At Cooloola” however represents national concerns such as the dispossession of Aboriginal people, and the guilt and fear that remains as a result of this. Judith Wright uses her writing to defend and protest for the Aboriginal community in this poem. She raises awareness of the loss of Aboriginal identity through the use of figurative language, symbols, and persona. In the first stanza, the metaphor “blue crane” symbolises the Aboriginal people who have “fished there longer than our centuries”. Nature is used to represent the Aboriginal people and their long possession of Australia before the colonisation by European settlers. This is greatly contrasted with the representation of the white Australians, or “the conquering people”, in the second stanza. Their portrayal is cruel and condescending, as opposed to the environmentally harmonious and calm depiction of the Aboriginal people. As the poem progresses, the representation of indigenous Australians changes. In the fourth stanza, an Aborigine is called “a ghost – a black accoutred warrior’’ who “sank into bare plain, as now in time past”. The peaceful portrayal is disturbed by the effect of colonisation. Wright has associated Aboriginal people with ghosts in many of her poems. The

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