My Country is widely regarded as the universal statement of why Australians love their country. A passionate, patriotic poem, it describes the contrasts that lie at the heart of Australia: its wildness, its generosity and its fearsome nature. This is a poem to celebrate.DM's most famous poem appeared first in the London 'Spectator' in September 1908....
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My Country Reviews
I loved this book, its a lovely poem that describes Australia exactly. I Love Australia, so I loved this book ^_^ I wasnt surprised to find that it was written when away. The illustrations were also beautiful.
This is my ABSOLUTE favourite poem and very dear to my heart.. I could recite it completely when I was 7 years old (Thanks to the coaching and care of Mum and our dear family friend).. It sums up Australia so beautifully and is accompanied by brilliant illustrations in some editions.. Dorothea McKellar paints an amazing picture in your mind of Australia with her words.. describing the beauty and the brutality of the wonderful country I am lucky enough to call home... "My Country".
Technically, Dorothea Mackellar is a good poet, and she’s a pleasure to read, but her subject choice, and her mode of writing, lack some of the edge and energy of modern poetry. As a poet of the senses, she’s exceptional. She’s fascinating when she tries to write in an extension of the English tradition, while needing to adapt her classical references to an alien environment. There’s a real tension there between the old fashioned poetical shortcuts (all of the harks, and beholds, and invocations of God) and the landscape she’s working on, which is described as primal and unaffected, and filled with elementals who don’t care about your existence, let alone you personal salvation.Mackellar was occasionally a political poet. Although she did have a message, she’s had her victory, which obscures her point. The idea that people who benefit from being Australian should stop harping on about the superiority of the Mother Country isn’t in question anymore, beyond occasional debates about citizenship. It’s hard for a modern reader to see My Country as a teenage rebellion poem, where an eighteen year old grabs the entire upper class of her society and gives them a slap in the face. That’s what it was, though: Dorothea was the Sex Pistols for her generation.As an aside, I think she’d be a perfect steampunk heroine: biting wit, trained in fencing, skilled at languages, travelling at whim, inappropriate affairs, losing her fiance to another woman because of postal etiquette. Someone really needs to do a series of novels with her shooting classical Greek gods as they step off the boat and saying “Didn’t you read the poem? Pan and nature spirits only!”Mackellar is particularly attuned to the shades of colour of the bush. The problem here is that her reference palate has slipped a little. How many modern people know that by cardinal she means a distinctive shade of scarlet. How many people know what colour chalcedony is? To be able to do a study where she describes an entire scene of green things by comparing them to other green things is clever, but only works in the modern reader has seen both the original, and each of the comparison objects, and I’m not sure we have that sort of visual literacy anymore.Mackellar often avoids extended metaphors, because she’s doing an impressionist painting with words, and so she doesn’t need symbolism. When she chooses to compare a great tree in the middle of a burn off to a sacrificial king robed in stars, or embodies Australia as a mercurial, copperhaired witch, she shows that she’s skilled at this. I wish she’d done it more, because the cleverness and incisiveness she shows in these comparisons is, to me, more attractive than her pointing out to me that a particular rock, at a certain time of day, is the same colour as a persimmon, even though the observation is perfectly apt and slightly surprising.Recommended for readers who like other bush poets. She doesn’t have the humorous undercurrents in Paterson or Lawson, but she doesn’t have the blokey-swaggie bushmen out conquering the frontier either. Her female characters are portrayed with a realism not found in the popular male authors, even when they are, for example, undergoing apotheosis into a dryad. Personally, I enjoyed it most by splitting the work so that I read the four main collections separately.Originally reviewed on book coasters
You know those “you had to be there” moments? Where something special becomes mundane to someone else in the retelling? That’s how I feel about this poem, and my attempt to review it. You see, there’s nothing really exceptional about the quality of this poem—it’s fairly basic in construction and content. But it overwhelms me nonetheless. It finds some buried heartache and gently taps away at it until I might be overcome. It probably won’t make you feel like this. But I’m an outback kid who couldn’t wait to leave Australia, and have spent most of my adult life away (with no immediate plans to return). There must be an unseen thread between my heart and my country; one that daily life makes easy to ignore. And that invisible link becomes clear and scarily fragile by this poem. ”All you who have not loved her,You will not understand —”
This book is a poem talking about why Australians love their country. It is a passionate and patriotic poem that describes what living in Australia is like and why Australians love their country so much.
Beautiful illustrations convey the beauty of Australia. They perfectly complement Mackellar's evocative poem. This Picture Book is great resource for young Australians in particular.
The imagery with the words is wonderful.
A book to show the way one is proud of their country, and specifically how Australians are proud of where they come from, and who they are. (MULTICULTURAL)