Les Murray's Poem Sydney And The Bush

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Sydney and The Bush

The poem “Sydney and The Bush” (2000)by Les Murray talks about the clash between the first two cultures in Australia, the Aborigines and the White Settlers, from an omniscient 3rd person point of view while portraying White Settlers in a negative light, but also mentioning the ‘Australian’ identity using Australian history and the beloved and unique Australian bush. The author makes his intentions clear through the use of poetic devices such as rhythm and repetition, and because each stanza is four lines in total, the form of the poem is Quatrain. This poem describes the clash between the two races using select poetic devices to effectively communicate the author’s point of view and also what it means to be ‘Australian’.
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The ‘bush’ is mentioned throughout the history of Australian identity and has even developed its own type of poetry: bush poetry. The poem mainly revolves around the changes that occurred when the White Settlers came to Australia, and how destructive they were towards our beloved bush, our country. ‘The bush came sky larking to town and gave poor folk a soul.’ The use of personification and hyperbole emphasis how the Australian bush provides for anyone and shows the reader the importance of nature to humans. The bush is a symbolic icon for Australians everywhere even today, and it unique beauty is only understood by true Australians.

The Australian identity is questioned by many, but there still are accepted icons that most, if not all, Australians believe to be part of the Australian identity. Australian history and the Australian ‘bush’ are just two of the many icons out there stated by just one person’s perspective, communicated by just one person’s methods. ‘Sydney and The Bush’ is a poem that focuses on the clash between the first two cultures of Australia, yet manages to introduce ideas of Australian
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