Australian Poetry (Banjo Patterson, Tip Kelaher, Komninos)

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Date Submitted: 11/25/2012 10:42 PM

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Australian Poetry

Australian poets have been writing poems since the Europeans first settled within its borders in 1788. Australian poems have been written about a wide variety of things, most popular including love poems, war poems and nature poems. Many earlier poems though were about life in the bush and were mostly about settlers in the wilderness and the so called ‘savages’. The Australian identity has changed dramatically since the beginning of the bush/pioneering era all the way to the contemporary era. This has been achieved through aesthetic features, ideas, attitudes and values reflected in poetry. The first poems to be written in Australia were called bush poems or pioneering poems. The poems during the bush and pioneering era were mostly about the landscape and how difficult it was to settle towns there due to harsh conditions and the indigenous people. One of the most famous of these is The Man from Snowy River written by Banjo Paterson. Soon after this era when World War One started, war poems were written. These were very much based on heroes of war. Then contemporary poems started a few years after this mainly being about sports seasons and different holidays. The three poems I’ll be talking about are the famous bush poem The Man from Snowy River, a war poem Brown Men and the contemporary poem If I was the son of an Englishman. These poems are important because they reflect the changing nature of the Australian identity.

In the poem ‘The Man from Snowy River’, Banjo Paterson has used aesthetic features successfully to reflect on and represent the Australian identity. It is a bush poem which discusses a famous race horse and the frantic chase of the horsemen to catch the runaway horse. This poem is very effective at developing the Australian identity because it uses many aesthetic features such as imagery, rhyming and similes to explain about the bush and their surroundings. In the eleventh stanza Patterson writes, ‘He ran them single handed till...