“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth. ” This persuasive essays purpose is to persuade the reader to include three phenomenal poems in an anthology of Indigenous Poetry. Each of the poems that will be introduced have been written by indigenous Australians, and each includes a form of a relationship within them, not only with people, but with culture, and Aboriginal and European Australians. The first poem to be introduced is Aboriginal Australia, by Jack Davis.
This gut wrenching poem is about the treacherous acts that the Europeans committed against the Aborigines. The second poem that will be discussed is Took the Children Away by Archie Roach. This poem, or song, is about the Stolen Generation, and the repercussions that it had on the children that experienced that event. Finally, the poem Son of Mine by Oodgeroo Noonuccal will be introduced. Son of Mine is about the emotions behind the fighting of the Europeans and Aborigines. Each of the three poems has a rightful place in an anthology of Indigenous Poetry.
The first poem that will be introduced is Aboriginal Australia written by poet Jack Davis. Aboriginal Australia is a raw and overwhelming poem about what the Europeans did to, and the effects that it had on most indigenous Australians. To support this heartfelt poem, Davis uses metaphors to accentuate the bold words that he has felt. The line, “I would find a pen to probe your freckled mind,” demonstrates the emotions that he was feeling in detail. It shows that between particular people relationships do not always have a strong foundation, and are often weak.
Likewise Davis’ use of imagery in, “The smile on the Governor’s face,” validates not only the emotion that the Governor was feeling, but what he thought about everything that was happening to the aborigines. Aboriginal Australia is a heart wrenching poem about the tumultuous events that were caused by the white people when they unjustly murdered and kidnapped a large sum of the indigenous population. The poem demonstrates the idea that at one point in time the relationships between white and black people was that of hatred.
The second poem that I wish to discuss is Took the Children Away, by Archie Roach, is a heartfelt story about the Stolen Generation. Having been one of the children that were taken away by the whites, Roach takes an insightful approach to his lyrics. The emotive and accusatory tone that Roach acquires, gives real meaning to his poem. Using the simile, “And how they fenced us in like sheep,” to convey the idea that the Aborigines didn’t really think that they had a say in how their life went, they were metaphorically trapped in their own skin.
The aboriginal children started to lose their relationship with their land and culture. The Aboriginal children were taught how to act and live, being told that it was good manners to always do what they were told, no matter how ridiculous the order was. Likewise, Roach’s shrewd use of visual imagery in, “said to us come take our hand, sent us off to mission land,” creates an idea of juxtaposition as they told the children that they were going to help and teach them, when all they did was send them off to white families as servants.
The aboriginal people were told that they would be treated with respect, and they would be educated, but were treated the exact opposite of what they were told. Took the Children Away deserves to be in the anthology of Indigenous Australian poetry as it has been written from a personal perspective, and has the exact emotions that were felt by one of the stolen children. The third and final poem that I would like to talk over is Son of Mine by Oodgeroo Noonuccal.
Son of Mine is a short and straight to the point poem on the experiences that the Aboriginal people went through while fighting the Europeans. It discusses the good and bad emotions, and actions that the Aboriginals went through, including the heartbreak, and brotherhood that both races experienced. Noonuccal has great pride in her tone when she mentions the, “… brave and fine,” men that put others before themselves during the often hard and tumultuous events that occurred. She describes the different relationships between the two different races.
Noonuccal really defines the large gap between the two different relationships, and how quick the relationship could change. Noonuccal’s use of juxtaposition in, “black and white entwine,” deeply expresses the relationships between the two different cultures of indigenous, and European. Son of Mine definitely deserves to be in an Anthology for Indigenous Australians as it is one of the only texts that include both the hatred, and the brotherhood between the white and indigenous Australians. It would be a great addition to the anthology.
All three of these poems demonstrate some sort of a relationship. They show great compassion for whatever topic they are artistically discussing. Aboriginal Australia, Took the Children Away, and Son of Mine all demonstrate feelings of hurt, happiness and heartbreak, thus making them beneficial for the anthology. The three poems that have been introduced each have a theme of relationships, whether between race, or culture. They definitely deserve a spot in an anthology of Indigenous Poetry.