Dorothea Mackellar Belonging

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F Scott Fitzgerald said that “Part of the beauty of all literature [is that] you discover … your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” This concept of belonging and identity are powerful forces for every human being when working out who we are in this world.
Good morning class and Mr Coke. F Scott Fitzgerald nailed it when he talked about literature being able to express the universal need to belong. Today, I will show you how two quite different Australian poems with varied cultural contexts manage to convey the notion of belonging and identity, albeit from very different perspectives. The poems that I will be discussing are My Country by Dorothea Mackellar and Please Resist Me by Luka
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Originally titled, Core of My Heart, Mackellar’s poem is best known for its second verse which has become one of the most well-known pieces of Australian poetry. She begins with a stanza devoted to a traditional English landscape of “field and coppice … green and shaded lanes [and] ordered woods and gardens” as Australia’s cultural heritage came from England, before launching into five stanzas of unbridled passion for the Australian landscape. Having become an Australian expatriate, the inspiration for Mackellar’s poem undoubtedly came from time spent on her family’s substantial country properties in New South Wales as a child. She clearly identifies herself with all aspects of rural Australia, from a drought ravaged “sunburnt country” with “sweeping plains [and] ragged mountain ranges” to “ring-barked forest[s] [and] sapphire-misted mountains”. Mackellar’s passionate sense of belonging to Australia is plainly evident in the final stanza where she claims her reader will not understand her sentiment and total devotion to her adopted land unless they have actually loved the country of which she speaks, claiming that “Wherever [she] may die, [she] know[s] to what brown country [her] homing thoughts will fly”. Mackellar’s somewhat romanticised and sentimental descriptions are achieved through her rich imagery. Even those…show more content…
His sense of belonging is forged from identifying with other marginalised ethnic groups in Australia. He achieves this through the use of sarcasm and parody to critique what he sees as the weakness of mainstream Australian identity and how he has benefited from being excluded due to his Greek heritage. Please Resist Me, written by Lesson in 2012 is a modern slam poem aimed at racism and oppression all around the world. The satirical tone of the repetitive pleas, asking us to ‘resist’ him, in fact, makes the writer more empowered in the face of adversity. Lesson’s constant use of alliteration and assonance, to create internal rhymes, resonate in their ‘machine gun’ rhythm, pounding the reader’s ears, and emphasising his message of intolerance and marginalisation. In the lines “I fire soliloquies and my liturgies, literally leave a literary litany”, strong alliteration and religious word choice, exaggerates the power of the solo writer in public word in indoctrinating. Furthermore, assonance is shown in the lines “undeniable, unreliable, maniacal, liability” with the long ‘i’s’, machine gunning the sound, alluding to an uncontrollable and ungovernable group in Australian society. By stereotyping people in this multicultural society, such as “call me a wog”, this marginalisation is furthered, as belonging results from in fact, rejection. For Lesson, it “brought
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