We have traversed quite some terrain in the last weeks. Chose one of these topics for your blog this week:
1/ Capture the seasonal quality of the Australia bush (in Spring) in a short poem that utilizes some of the techniques of Charles Harpur’s “A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest”. Maybe begin your poem also with a reference to a bird. Harpur used “Not a bird disturbs the air”. You could try “Magpies warbled like water in the early dawn” or “Crows filled the air with plaintive calls”…. or something like this…
2/ Try writing a stanza that uses the punchy rhythm of Kendall’s “Bell Birds”:
By channels of coolness the echoes are calling
And down the dim gorges I hear the creek falling;
Try this to discover whether the search for rhythm and musicality blocks or helps the flow of your ideas.
3/ Can you say what it is you like about Louisa Anne Meredith? Is it her message or her style, or both.
4. Imagine you are a woman living in England in the 19th Century. Write a letter to Louisa Anne Meredith telling her how much you have enjoyed her glimpse of the Australian experience back in the mid 19th Century.
4/ Henry Lawson or Banjo Paterson? Explain briefly your understanding of why these two authors were so different in their views of the Australian experience.
5/ Do you agree that compared to Barbara Baynton, Lawson’s depiction of woman’s experience is romanticised and sentimental?
6/ Write a paragraph in the style of Baynton describing a woman’s experience of being bullied by a male.
5/Write a description of an outback setting in the style of Henry Lawson.
6/ Write a description of a landscape in the style of Banjo Paterson.
7/ Find out who the figure behind Dame Mary Gilmore is on the $10 note. What is the artistic significance of this other figure?
AND AS ALWAYS: Chose or find a topic of your very own that relates in some way to the themes of this week. Draw on your own experience if you wish. For instance: what is your experience of being a woman compared to Gilmore’s “Eve Song”?