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    Belonging in Aboriginal Poetry: Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s Essay

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    The Dispossessed and We Are Going BY Rochester “Peace was yours, Australian man, with tribal laws you made, Till white colonials stole your peace with rape and murder raid;” Hello everyone, my name’s and today I will be exploring the particular aspect of Australian belonging or rather, not belonging, found In aboriginal poetry.

    The two poems where this lack of belonging Is evident are both by Codger Announced are The Dispossessed and We are Going. The dispossessed by Codger Announced gives a nihilistic representation of the past ND current treatment of aboriginals and insight Into the ever-present feeling of not belonging In Australian society. The poem Itself depicts the suffering and loss the aboriginal people were subjected to upon the arrival of the first fleet following though to present day Australia.

    Through Announcer’s insight, the reader is able to establish the fact that by treating the aboriginals the way they have been and are being treated, Anglo-Australia is ignoring many key Australian values such as equality, imitates and giving someone a fair go. Having been an aboriginal rights activist and acclaimed aboriginal poet, Codger Announcer’s approach is consequently a political one. Her Intention Is to give Insight Into the almost departed aboriginal culture as well as attempting to better educate White Australia on the subject of aboriginals.

    Now, let’s look at some of the devices used in the poem The Dispossessed. The nihilistic attitude of not belonging In Australia Is represented throughout The Dispossessed, Illustrated by the author’s use of Dalton. Announced uses powerfully aggressive words and phrases In an attempt to Illustrate the pain and suffering felt y the aboriginal people from the arrival of the English Colonists to Australia’s shores in 1788, all the way to present day Australia.

    Her use of this technique is evident in lines such as “Till white colonials stole your peace with rape and murder raid; they shot and poisoned and enslaved” The use of violent terms such as rape, murder raid, shot and poisoned really paint a negative picture of the settlement of Australia and the very sudden displacement of the aboriginal people through the “Claiming” of their lands and a subsequent absence of equality, rights and belonging. The title of his poem is, in itself, a use of diction.

    The title of the poem – The Dispossessed or rather the word itself dispossessed with meanings such as – evicted, robbed, expelled, stripped and homeless introduces the lack of belonging felt by Australian Aboriginals, exposing their and vulnerable state which positions the reader before Another device utilized by Announced to convey the deep feelings of loss of belonging felt by the aboriginals is Metaphors. Or rather, a particular metaphor found in line nine and in the concluding line of the poem. The heart dies in you” depicts the effects of the arrival of the English fleet and how the displacement from their lands saw the aboriginal populations become so disconnected from the land and themselves. Slowly yet surely, as Australia was settled as an Anglo-dominated nation Aboriginals lost their cultural heritage which is represented in the poem or rather the metaphor as being their figurative heart – their core beings and identities in Australia “dying”, forever lost to them.

    This metaphor also implies through the dying of hearts that the aboriginals, deprived of their culture, are slowly dying in the curative sense encapsulating the ever-present loss of belonging in a nihilistic perspective. The author’s use of this metaphor twice helps to reiterate it as a core belief and message of the poem the author wishes to make that aboriginals are going. Now, I will analyses the representation of loss of belonging in Australia in both The Dispossessed and We are going.

    Firstly, Similarities. Both of these poems are written by Codger Announced and so both contain her political beliefs concerning Australian aboriginals. Both have similar nihilistic representations of the aboriginal ass of belonging with similar poetic techniques being used. For example, both poems contain powerful metaphors such as “We are the strangers here now, but the white tribe are the strangers” from We are Going and “the heart dies in you”.

    Both of these metaphors help convey Announcer’s representation of the loss of aboriginals belonging to the reader. Both poems contain the contradiction of several key Australian values such as imitates, equality and having a fair go. Whilst there are many similarities concerning these two poems, there is one significant difference mound in the Dispossessed and not We are going. And when hypocrisy is scorned and hate is counted shame, The only shall intolerance die and old Justice cease and white and dark as brother find equality and peace” These lines, found toward the end of the dispossessed are a glimpse of a desired future, a hope and a hint of a positive outlook. For a brief moment Announcer’s predominantly nihilistic approach disappears in favor of an optimistic attitude creating one of the major differences between these two poems. Thank you for coming to listen to me today, and I hope you enjoy the rest of poetry week.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Belonging in Aboriginal Poetry: Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s Essay. (2017, Dec 30). Retrieved from

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