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Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: asweknowit (122.148.147.---)
Date: October 23, 2007 06:54AM

In reference to the poems 'Then & Now' and 'Civilisation'

-Identify the ways in which the poet utilises poetic devices to create meaning
-Discuss how the poems challenge conventional discourse
-Discuss how and why the poet, her voice, poetry and subjects are silences or marginalised.

Also analyse and compare the two poems in terms of critical literacy
-What is the poem about?
-What/Who is talked about?
-Who/What are the major participants?
-Who/What are the minor participants?
-Who/What are the invisible participants?
-Who is/is not mentioned, even though the topic of the text concerns them?
-How are the participants talked about?
-Give examples of emotive, powerful and effective language
-Discuss how these poems challenge conventional ideology
-What discourses are at play in the poem?
-What is the dominant discourse of multiculturism or reconciliation at the present time? How does your chose poem challenge or support it?

(lol damn year 11 english smiling smiley )

Kath Walker - No More Boomerang, crafts?
Posted by: Leishy (124.186.171.---)
Date: April 17, 2009 12:03AM


I have an assignment for English and we are required to analyse poems and find the poet's crafts and poetic techniques.

I am doing No More Boomerang by Kath Walker, and am having trouble finding many crafts she has used.

If anyone could be of assistance smiling smiley that would be great.


Re: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: IanAKB (124.168.124.---)
Date: April 19, 2009 06:01AM


What do you mean by 'crafts'?

It would no doubt assist others to assist you, if you posted the poem. As you didn't, here's a version taken off the Internet. Is it the same as the version you are studying?

No More Boomerang
by Oodgeroo Noonuccal
formerly known as Kath Walker

No more boomerang
No more spear;
Now all civilised —
Colour bar and beer.

No more corroboree,
Gay dance and din.
Now we got movies,
And pay to go in.

No more sharing
What the hunter brings.
Now we work for money,
Then pay it back for things.

Now we track bosses
To catch a few bob,
Now we go walkabout
On bus to the job.

One time naked,
Who never knew shame;
Now we put clothes on
To hide whatsaname.

No more gunya,
Now bungalow,
Paid by hire purchase
In twenty year or so.

Lay down the stone axe,
Take up the steel,
And work like a nigger
For a white man meal.

No more firesticks
That made the whites scoff.
Now all electric,
And no better off.

Bunyip he finish,
Now got instead
White fella Bunyip
Call him Red.

Abstract picture now —
What they coming at?
Cripes, in our caves we
Did better than that.

Black hunted wallaby,
White hunt dollar;
White fella witchdoctor
Wear dog-collar.

No more message-stick;
Lubras and lads.
Got television now,
Mostly ads.

Lay down the woomera,
Lay down the waddy.
Now we got atom-bomb,
End every-body.

Re: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: Leishy (123.211.158.---)
Date: April 19, 2009 06:11AM

Oh sorry.

By crafts I mean whether the poem has any of the following...

Alliteration, Rhyme, Rhythm, Onomatopoeia, Assonance, Personification, Symbolism, Parody, Hyperbole, Paradox, Similes or Metaphors.

I have found in the poem (yes, the one you pasted above is correct) repetition and rhyme. Is that all there is?

Re: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: IanAKB (124.168.124.---)
Date: April 19, 2009 07:45AM

Well, Leishy, I'm surprised you couldn't spot the simile in the 3rd line of the 7th stanza.

You arguably have a metaphor in the 9th stanza - 'white fella Bunyip'. A bunyip is a monster, believed (by the superstitious) to hide in some waterholes or in dense bush. The line 'Call him Red' is explained by the fact that the poem was written at a time when many Australians feared there were communist saboteurs in the community (sometimes referred to politically as "reds under the beds").

And I suggest the last line of the poem uses hyperbole.

There's undoubtedly rhythm in the poem. The lines are 2-beat or 3-beat. (the 3-beat lines mostly occur as the last line of a stanza).

There's arguably a lot of symbolism in the poem. Thus 'boomerang' and 'spear' are used to symbolise the primitive way of life. You should be able to find other examples, including symbols of primitive methods of waging war. (You might need an Australian dictionary to look up some of the Aboriginal words). Likewise, you can probably find symbols of the 'white fella' way of life.

Though not on your list, there's a strong theme running through the poem, encapsulated by the 4th line of the 8th stanza and echoed in lines 3 and 4 of the 10th stanza.

And enhancing that theme, there's another technique used that is not on your list, namely irony. That appears expressly in line 3 of the 1st stanza, and implicitly in some of the other stanzas. The author purports to be saying that the Aborigines are better off with the changes made by the whites, when her real meaning is that they are no better off and in many respects a lot worse off.


Re: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: Leishy (123.211.158.---)
Date: April 19, 2009 08:21AM


Thank you very much for your help. =]

I have one question though.. When you say;

The author purports to be saying that the Aborigines are better off with the changes made by the whites, when her real meaning is that they are no better off and in many respects a lot worse off.

How does she do this? I understand that she believes this herself, but I don't see how by telling that they are better off, she is saying they aren't.
What do you mean by this?

Re: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: IanAKB (124.168.124.---)
Date: April 19, 2009 11:00AM

Well, I can't prove that all the changes she describes are regarded by her as being changes not for the better, but I infer that intent from what she says directly in stanzas 8 and 10, and from the nature of the other changes she describes.

For instance I don't believe she is saying seriously in the final stanza that it's good progress to be able to kill everybody with atomic weapons instead of fighting using only spear throwers and clubs.

In stanza 1 she refers (symbolically) to Aboriginals having given up their primitive ways. And what have they got by being 'civilised'? She says they are now subject to a 'colour bar', i.e. treated as second-class citizens and excluded from many places that white people go to [the poet lived in Queensland], and they have been introduced to alcohol ('beer').

In stanza 2, she refers to Aborigines abandoning their traditional dances in which they all had fun participating. Now their entertainment consists only of movies [made by the whites] and they have to pay to see those.

And so it goes from stanza to stanza. Every change described seems to be one in which the Aborigines have been short-changed. So I infer that her intention throughout is to satirise whie civilisation, and to imply that it has done nothing worthwhile for the Aborigines.

Re: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: Leishy (123.211.250.---)
Date: April 20, 2009 02:23AM

She’s Aborigine by Paul Buttigieg

Her man just belted her
Three kids crying
Her bloodied mouth splutter’s a message of love
And the kids settle for a while
After he goes

Two little girls and one little boy
What is this aboriginal culture Mum?
They ask
With no knowledge of Dad’s wisdom

Drunken wisdom
A man unemployed
In a depressed state of mind
A man losing respect all around
White and Black

The government cheque is cashed now
He is loaded and loaded
Cash and grog the fortune and wisdom
Two little girls and one little boy

And a wife waiting for another beating

She’s Aborigine

Thank you, I need to do the same thing with this poem and establish the crafts within it.
There is slight repetition used (only 2 lines), and it is an uneven rhythm.
I'm not sure if there are others or if this poem is just lacking.
Could you offer some advice?


Re: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker)
Posted by: IanAKB (124.168.9.---)
Date: April 21, 2009 10:58AM

In 'She's Aborigine' I can hardly find any of the poetic tehniques (or 'crafts' as you call them) that you listed earlier, which is no doubt why it strikes me as a poorly written poem.

In saying that, and in criticising details in it, I don't mean to demean the sincere concern I presume the author feels for the appalling social problem he has chosen to write about. Nor am I saying that his writing won't move some readers to pity. I believe they will be moved by thoughts about the subject matter, rather than by poetic appreciation.

Buttigieg has divided this piece into lines and stanzas, which are basic features by which poetry is usually distinguished from prose; but such divisions alone don't turn prose into poetry. They need at least to have some logic and memorable artistry to them. I don't find those qualities here.

Short lines like "They ask" (in stanza 2) and "And" (in stanza 4) are just feeble. The singleton last line, repeating the title, is redundant.

I'm assuming the apostrophe in line 3 is a typo. Otherwise that line would mean that the woman's "bloodied mouth splutter is a message of love", which would arguably be a metaphor but would not make convincing sense. It's not even convincing to say that she "splutters a message of love". Why would she say she loves someone who has just hit her and terrified her kids?

Besides the repetition you identified, I note that the word "wisdom" occurs three times. The first occurrence, at the end of stanza 2, is possibly an example of irony.

The question referred to in stanza 2, "What is this aboriginal culture Mum?", does not sound at all like the sort of thing terrified children would ask in the situation. A wholly unconvincing detail.

It's all just simplistic melodrama, aimed at simple minded readers. In my opinion, it shows none of the class and wit of Noonuccal's poem.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2009 11:00AM by IanAKB.

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