Feauture article year 11 – australian bush poetry henry lawson, banjo paterson and jack davis

Connecting back to our Great Grandparents through Oz’s articulate poets of Australian history. Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi! Dalena Angelique Le investigates. To many, bush poetry may be a bore but citizens of Australia dating back to the very first settlement, beg to differ. Most of Australia’s population have some sort of poetry running through their veins. Bush poets Henry Lawson, Jack Davis and Banjo Paterson have helped construct new realities of Australia personally through their own distinctive style of writing. With the same passion for Australia and its people, respectively these poets have brought a broader sense of knowledge to the craniums of folks around our nation. So how do outsiders see our country? Does Australia lack culture? Arguably, many will say that Australia is a new born country so therefore it must be undeveloped and green. However, Banjo Paterson challenges this concept when he combats Henry Lawson, in their bantered Bulletin debate. In writing “ Up the Country”, Lawson initiated dispute between himself and Paterson, sparking public speculation and community empathy. Every one of you have something that you all value, May it be people or objects. More often than not when that valued possession is undergoing some form of confrontation, we most probably will get defensive. We’re not the only ones. Banjo Paterson and Jack Davis have both composed poems defending that valued possession. Paterson’s poem “ In Defence of the Bush” as it suggests is defending our home country. When Henry Lawson writes a poem victimizing Australia, Banjo gets a little upset because he feels as though he is being picked on. How would you feel if somebody made a negative remark against what you love? You could imagine he would feel offended. As a way to channel how he felt, Banjo Paterson decided to put pen to paper a response to Lawson’s “ Up the Country”. Paterson claims in his poem that Lawson would be “ better suited drinking lemon-squash in town”. In this poem, Paterson could be considered proud of Oz. Since we’re on the topic of famous Australian poets, Jack Davis is one of Australia’s successful Aboriginal poet. Davis composed the poem ” To the others” to target readers and make them feel an ironic feeling of displeasure and sympathy for the Aborigine tribes that suffered in the stolen generation. By the same element of “ defence” Jack Davis likewise composed a poem defending something — That is the Aboriginal people of Australia. The poem “ To the others” addresses white settlers who “ once smiled a friendly smile”. Davis conceived a harsh reality of white Australian settlers, mentioning back to major historical events like the “ Pinjarra massacre”. Effectively, he did this on purpose as a mechanism to taunt target audience. Through the use of cold confronting nouns, “ massacre”, Davis is able to emphasize on the atrocious nature of which white settlers treated the indigenous. Speaking of atrocious, Henry Lawson is one to use that kind of word as to display his unkind love for Australia. The poem ” Up the Country” was written about the Australian bush in a pessimistic attitude. Henry Lawson feels as though life is ” rather more inviting round the coast”. He begins to invite us into his horrid experience in the bush. Through the use of descriptive language -” I have lost”, ” desolation”, ” lonely hut”, ” dismal country”, Henry Lawson is able to connotate the bush in a negative light and effectively these words describe a very forlorn feeling about the bush. Lawson constructs the harsh reality of Australia, writing about it’s challenging landscape, harsh conditions and hazardous nature ” In the rain-swept wildernesses that are wildest of the wild”. Henry Lawson uses the rhyming scheme clerihew. This scheme involves an A A B B pattern, ” I have lost a lot of idols, which were broken on the track, Burnt a lot of fancy verses, and I’m glad that I am back.” The same rhyming scheme is used by his opponent Banjo Paterson in his poem ” In Defence o the Bush”, ” So you’re back from up the country, Mister Lawson, where you went, And you’re cursing all the business in a bitter discontent”. As for Mister Jack Davis of whom uses the standard rhyming scheme A B A B. The use of this is to decrease the poem’s complexity as Davis wants to artlessly and clearly submit his points across. A very common factor to written poems is the rhyming scheme, as exemplified by our three poets. Often or songwriters use this technique to deliver melodies as it provides a flow of ideas and compliment each other through transitioning smoothly from one to the next. This allows easy reading and memorable rhyming couplets. As we go into great details in all of our poems, we begin to get a strong awareness of the use of irony. Irony is often used in a bitter vexation. Irony in ” To the others” is used heavily alongside with sarcasm. The combination of both of these language technique flatter each other and as a result, Jack Davis is able to assemble a taunting reality of Australia back in the 1960s and 70s. The settler’s believed that Aboriginal people were primitive and racially inferior. They felt that this had to be overcome in order to develop the land according to European standards. This caused a lot of hurt upon Aborigines. They Lost their culture, religion, family and most of all identity. Davis was a man of great passion for his people. He formulated the poem to express his anger. Jack Davis uses irony to outline the betrayal in which indigenous people felt at the beginning of white settlement, ” You propped me up with Christ and red tape”. Aboriginal people could easily trust so therefore they were easily manipulated. On the surface they were built up to trust good intentions but in reality they were really built up for under surface betrayal. Second person is usually used as an inclusive tool. Correspondingly, universal representation provokes direct address, ” You, I, we, people”. As the readers, we feel associated. Banjo Paterson used second person to make comments through his poetic verse and directly rebut Lawson’s former views on the bush. Universally, we all have a personal reality of our great Aussie homeland. Other people’s perspective like our poets, may or may not influence our own but idealistically, we can play with the role that our country gives us. I’m proud of where I stand in this country, if you are here then chant with me Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!