Six Australian Poems on the Different Aspects of the Country's Way of Life

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 AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE- 2

For my paper I have selected six Australian poems and shown the different aspects of the Australian way of life.

‘THE FIRST AUSTRALIANS’
By Troy Hopkins: 

The First Australians is a poem expressing Troy Hopkins' hatred towards white settlers because of how they claimed Australia and labeled the natives 'Aboriginal'. He called it an invasion, not a settlement and he says that the natives were the first ones there so they shouldn't call them "aboriginal". Hopkins then tells how the white settlers spilt the native’s blood on 'sacred ground' and they get rewarded for it. Hopkins speaks of Lex Wotton who is an aboriginal man who helps other aboriginals in places that they struggle such as court, because the juries are white australians. Lex Wotton eventually went to prison and is now an inspiration to Hopkins. The author then goes on to talk about an aboriginal by the name of Richard Saunders, who was an aboriginal who died in prison due to poor treatment, Hopkins explains how no 'Blacks' are taken care of in prison because they are 'expendable'. Hopkins says that he has 'seen a pattern', which is that aboriginal people are persecuted worse than white Australians and even half-cast aboriginals. Hopkins talks about how his daughter is a half-cast aboriginal and she wants to have true black skin like her father, but he tells her that she doesn't want that because to him it is a curse. Hopkins believes that to the aborigines, Australia is a dictatorship, not a democracy. The author thanks the SBS channel for sharing the aboriginals beliefs and that it’s kept them hopeful that some white Australians believe the same. Hopkins ends with a powerful line which reads 'Aboriginal is abbreviated, it means Abolish Original. We are The First Australians here; they are convicts, which are criminals'. 

‘GAGADJU WAYS’
By Bill Neidjie:

In the poem 'Gagadju Ways', the poet Bill Neidjie talks about the old, traditional Aboriginal way of life and how the old practices are slowly vanishing due to colonization. the poem is written in a peculiar way, a simple yet grasping format which puts across the views in a straight forward fashion. the poet first reminices that when he was growing up, he had good people around him. He says that the people now are a bit wicked. due to colonization he met have met some 'foreign' people living in his own country and yet not treating him nicely. there is a posibility that he misses the companionship of his own people before the 'outsider' stepped in and began dominating him. They tried to made him feel like a stranger in his country. Nextly he tells us how the white man brought school and the Aboriginals began losing all their knowledge. It got in the way of their traditional upbringing and acted as a binding on them. the white man's 'education' brought them no good. the poet talks on the behalf of all other native people and says that they never damaged the earth. when he burns grass, new grass comes up and it leads to new life. More animals come in that area after this burning. The native's people camped at different places during different seasons but the white man doesn't understand this. The natives look after the earth, they do not spoil it. But once again we see that the invader is unable to understand the relationship between the natives and the nature.The white man wants to exploit the land in the country to earn money from it. But the poet says that money is nothing to them, they are not crazy for money as the white man is. The natives need the earth to live because when they die, they'll become earth. The earth is their mother and their brother. That is why they ask the invaders to leave their sacred land alone. They cannot bear their land been taken away from them because they are given birth by the earth and when they die, their ashes are going to be a part of the earth too. This poem shows us how beloved the earth is to...
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