Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poem Analysis

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Good morning to all you very enthusiastic listeners! Did you know that belonging is considered a fundamental aspect of being human, that belonging is an ambiguous concept which can offer individuals a sense of identity, security and partnership, and that these idea of belonging have played a significant role in Australian lives for years? From Polish migrants in the 1950s to aborigines over the last hundred years, millions of poets have chosen this concept as a foundation to their work.
In fact, one of these poets is a very important aboriginal voice; Oodgeroo Noonuccal. Her plain-speaking style, and her strong element of compassion is the reason I chose to discuss her poem “Municipal gum” as the untaught poem. Through personification and metaphor,
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You can see this in the first line “Hard bitumen at your feet”. Here, by giving the tree human attributes of having feet it creates a sense of empathy with the reader. This technique vividly expresses images that the gum tree, like the aborigines are constrained and trapped into a concrete, modernized world; suffocated by its surroundings, unable to grow and most likely dying unless replanted into its natural environment. These key ideas are directly linked to the plight endured by the Aborigines and their upkeep of traditional ways, as during this time oodgeroo felt so alienated in society that she felt that her culture was dying out and wanted the white Europeans at the time to realise what they were really …show more content…
At this point, he proposes that “A barrier” separates the migrants from belonging to Australia. This is outlined in a physical sense as a “gate”, though further understood in a more metaphorical sense of cultural belonging. With the word “barrier” associating strongly with alienation and imprisonment, it exposes how the migrants felt as though they were not welcome in the country and rather strictly being tolerated. Additionally, he mentions that the barrier was “like a finger” which “pointed in reprimand or shame” displaying a powerful image of rejection due to the authoritarian behaviour; disempowering the migrants as somewhat children. The cumulative effect of these morose images alienates the migrants as it reinforces the idea that they are outsiders unaccepted as part of the wider community. Thus through selective use of language Skrzynecki provides both readers from the 1950’s and today with a powerful image reshaping how we think about

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