4th Peer Review

Biancah Nasr – https://biancahnasrblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/the-measure-by-mary-gilmore/comment-page-1/#comment-10

“Hey Biancah :)
I really love this analysis – it’s well thought-out, well explained and a well-rounded answer :) I love how you considered all possible meanings of the title, with evidence from the poem to back up your answer and I really like how you put in your own interpretation of the title at the end with how you see the measure as “human ignorance” – it’s different to what everyone else seems to think and just makes your blog entry all-encompassing with that difference of opinion. What a great job!!”


5th Blog

TASK: With reference to Bernard O’Dowd’s “Australia”, what predictions does the poem have for our future? Have these predictions been realized?

Bernard O’Dowd’s poem, “Australia”, predicts an uncertain future for us and he clearly expresses his uncertainty throughout the poem. He says that he isn’t sure what the point of this newly discovered country is and what its purpose is. He spends the first stanza trying to decide whether this country is a good thing or a bad thing. He asks “Are you a drift Sargasso… or Delos of a coming Sun-God’s race? Are you for light… or but a Will o’Wisp on marshy quest?” A new demense for Mammon to infest? Or lurks millennial Eden ‘neath your face?” These rhetorical questions show how insistently he is questioning this new country’s purpose and how dearly he wants to know the answer.

In the last couple lines of the first stanza, O’Dowd asks if this new country is, “A new demense for Mammon to infest? Or lurks millennial Eden ‘neath your face?”. He asks if this new land is just another breeding ground for lust and greed for money and financial gain or if this new land will be more like the Garden of Eden and be a perfect sanctuary for mankind to live in harmony with God, just as Adam and Eve did. In this sense, his predictions have been realised. As time has gone on, new factories and industries have been established in Australia and trade with other countries has also been introduced. This has both made a profit for the country, yet has also allowed money-hungry people to come in and exploit the country for the own private gain so yes, one could argue that O’Dowd’s prediction, in this sense, has come true.

3rd Peer Review

Brianna-May Worrell – https://briannamwblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/harpur-vs-kendall/

“Hey Brianna,
Wow, what an interesting blog!! I love your detailed analysis of the poems, it shows that you really know your stuff and understand the poems really well, too:) I really like your comparison at the end of both the animals in these two poems (the dragon-hornet and the bell-birds) and how, despite their different ways of expressing it, both the authors see the beauty of the Australian landscape through these two creatures. Well done!:)

4th Blog :)

TASK: Looking at these two poems describing a natural scene (“A Mid-Summer Noon in the Australian Forest” and “Bell-Birds”, say what you think each poet values and how they differ in their appreciation and their expression.

In his poem, “A Mid-Summer Noon in the Australian Forest”, I think that Charles Harpur is simply basking in the beauty of the scene before him, as seen when he describes the landscape and the flora and fauna, especially when he describes the dragon-hornet; “yon bright beetle gleams the air… its shards flame out like gems on fire”. From this poem, you can tell that Charles Harpur really appreciates the scenery around him and that his mind is expanding with all the new knowledge he’s obtaining through this experience. He clearly values Australia for the place that it is, with its own unique landscape, and he values the outdoors and nature itself, too.

Contrarily, in Henry Kendall’s poem, “Bell-birds”, Kendall still uses references from England, showing that he still has a deep attachment to where the settlers came from. He speaks of the seasons as if he was still in England, saying that, “the silver-voiced bell-birds… sing in September their songs of the May-time”. This shows the English ideals that Kendall still holds onto, something Harpur doesn’t do. This shows that Kendall doesn’t fully appreciate this new land for what it is and is still enforcing the memories of England onto it.

2nd Peer Review

Nicole Yallop – https://nicoleyallop.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/australian-literature-blog-entry-3

“Hey Nicole!

I really like your comments on the “beauty and danger of the scene” and how you can have two such opposing things in the same painting 🙂 Also the contrast between the natural and the manmade; the bushland and the railroad tunnel was another great point and your newfound appreciation for what the labourers and those working on the tunnel must’ve had to live through while experiencing it. I found your last couple of sentences quite profound too; that the European settlers couldn’t adapt the country to their liking without paying some sort of price is something I also definitely saw in this painting too 🙂 What a great post!!”

3rd Blog :)

TASK: Describe the impact on you of ONE of the paintings viewed on our tour – talk about how it has opened up your understanding of the key issues of the period we are studying!

I went to the NSW Art Gallery today (Saturday, 9 April) and the painting that I think resonated with me the most was one in the South End of the first room, called “The Golden Splendour of the Bush” (1906) by W. Lister Lister.

The Golden Splendour of the Bush

W. Lister Lister, “The Golden Splendour of the Bush” (1906) Image from: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/649/

In terms of Australian Literature, this painting opened up my understanding of the key issues in this time because it serves as evidence of the evolution of how Australia was seen and depicted by artists. When you consider earlier works, (for instance, John Glover’s “Patterdale Farm” [1840]), it’s obvious how the earlier painters were painting Australia more like an English garden and it’s almost like they were enforcing their ideal landscape onto reality, when they couldn’t have their ideal landscape of an English countryside. It could be they missed England so much that they were trying to pretend they were back there, or perhaps they didn’t like Australia all that much at that point in time. But by the time “The Golden Splendour of the Bush” was painted, it was clear that Australia was now valued for itself and for what it was by the time Federation had occurred. The colours in this painting are softer in tone and look more natural, compared with the earlier paintings of bright green, white, blue, etc. to portray that look of an English garden, again showing that the Australian landscape was now being appreciated for what it was, instead of the pretend English garden the early white settlers were pretending it to be.

Patterdale Farm

John Glover, “Patterdale Farm” (1840) Image from: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/77.1974/