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.