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Poetry Essay

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Poetry is a medium which can challenge pre conceived ideas. It relies on emotion and individual expression and therefore is more frequently a challenge to traditional views and representations. In the anthology, most of the poems offer different and contradictory perspectives of Australia. However all rely on the reader’s experience of the stereotype either to comfort or shock through subversion. One poem which confirms stereotype is the ‘Surfer’ while ‘Australia’ and ‘Ungrateful Migrant’ present contrasting images. Poetry in general can therefore be seen to have varying levels of challenges but also affirmations whilst explain the positive or negative traditional representations of Australia.
.The poem the surfer affirms a traditional view of Australia. It presents the view and stereotype that Australia is the typical surfer’s paradise. It does this through building on the connection between the narrator and his landscape. The Form is of the poem is used in order to provide a varying pace and development of a connection with the Australian landscape. This is largely seen in the use of four stanzas which follow the narrator’s movement from the sea to the beach. Stanza one and two explain the surfer catching a wave. These two paragraphs however may be seen to be contradictory to the affirmation of the stereotype of Australia with the surfer through irregular rhyme. Irregular rhyme puts forth the idea that the surfer is not in harmony with the Australian landscape and is battling against it. The quote “muscle of arm thrust down long muscle water” demonstrates this concept.   Stanzas three and four however, describe the surfer paddling to the beach and in high contrast to stanzas one and two reveal that the surfer is in harmony with the land.   This is shown in the adoption of a regular rhyme pattern ‘ABBA’ which with the enhancement and emphasis brought about by contrast develops the surfer’s connection with Australia.
Imagery is also used in this poem to affirm the...

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