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Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country’ is a poem expressing Macke

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Nadia Simic

on 13 August 2014

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Transcript of Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country’ is a poem expressing Macke

My Country
Dorothea Mackellar's 'My Country' is a poem expressing Mackellar's deep passion and love for her country, Australia.
I chose this poem because it embodies all that is special about the Australian landcape, and the simple, yet descriptive language brings images to the mind and speaks to all ages.

She has invited the Australian audience to share and recognize her feelings towards the sunburnt country that she loves, by the love she expresses while describing the landscape and by saying that those who do not love Australia will never understand the deep connection she feels with the land. Mackellar has composed a poem that speaks to our national identity.
Language Techniques

The poems intention it to evoke a sense of praising for ones country, and their deep realtionship with the land. Mackellar achieves this response from the audience by utilizing several language techniques such as: Juxtaposition, personification,alliteration, assonance, imagery and paradox.
Throughout the poem, the use of first person suggests that the poem has been educed by personal experience. The idea of Australia's distinctiveness is introduced in the first two stanzas. This is achieved by juxtaposing Australia's rough landscape , compared to another countries (England's) tame backdrop.

England's landscape is portrayed as 'grey-blue distance, brown streams and soft dim skies'. Whereas Australia's landscape is described as 'a land of sweeping planes, ragged mountains, of droughts and flooding rains'.

This comparison implies that the poet believes that Australia's wildness is what makes it unique to England's landscape, what makes Australia truly beautiful.
'I love a sun burnt country' which familiarizes the following stanza on Australia, the idea of Australia not just being a piece of land, but to posses similar characteristics of a person. Personification is presented, by referring to the land as she or her: 'I love her far horizons', 'I love her jewel sea' and "she pays us back three fold". The application of this technique allows the poet to express how important her relationship with the land is and allows the audience to see Australia as more than a piece of land.
The application of sound patterns such as alliteration also evokes a sense of praise and expresses a clear consciousness of the theme. The phrases 'flood, fire and famine', 'steady and soaking', and 'lithe lianas' use alliteration to emphasize the characteristics of Australian rural life. It is also used to create the effect that Australia is sometimes harsh and unpredictable and allows the words to relate, giving the poem a better structure.

The poem illustrates images in our head through descriptive and detailed language. Descriptions such as 'sapphire misted mountains', 'soft dim skies'. and 'far horizons' describes the landscape, thus creating an image in our head that as we the audience can understand and imagine.

Throughout the poem the rhythm changes its pace.
"The love of green and coppice, Of green and shaded lanes" would be a slow rhythm whereas "I love her far horizons, I love her jewel sea" would be a faster rhythm, as it is faster and contains shorter sentences.
Rhyme is often used in 'my country', it gives the audience a more joyous way of interpreting the words written. "All tragic to the moon, the sapphire misted mountain, the hot gold hush of noon". In this phrase moon and noon rhyme, this gives a more meaningful way to interpret the information.
Dorothea Mackellar's poem is one of the most well- known Australian poems today. Written about the beauties and terrors of Australia and how they are both beautiful in their own way, she shows adoration to australia for boths its positives and negatives. Her heart clearly belongs to Australia.
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