September 22nd, 2008

Week 8 live Journal Entry

Judith Wright really expresses a sort of emotional toughness. She talks of death a lot, but this is in no way a negative thing; I mean death is a part of life. Wright’s poetry blesses us with a different kind of inner view allowing us perhaps to rethink death. This week in our lecture MG was talking about how we as humans, sometimes tend to think a little too highly of ourselves in terms of where we stand within our environment. We draw towards human exceptionalism in that we think we are the most important creatures on earth and nothing else really matters as much. Judith Wright, as an environmentalist who obviously cares for nature, wholeheartedly rejects this idea. She often points out that although we are cunning with our minds; our minds in fact tend to cut us off from the rest of the world. This prevents us from experiencing that amazing sense of oneness with nature that only those in tune with themselves as a part of nature and not its controller, can ever truthfully experience. Our minds are great but they’re destructive. We need to live like the “Birds” as Wright would have it.


This also relates to that Movie MG mentioned “Into the Silence.” It is a documentary of life inside a French Monastery. The monks are of a silent order. It raises many questions such as, does one need words to communicate with another? Can you be an active member of society when you are completely silent? If you come to the realization that the answer to both these questions is “yes” then perhaps you are on your way to also realizing that with sometimes, words just get in the way. These monks also meditate. If in life we can find the equivalent of inner stillness that this can perhaps lead us to the acceptance of the great stillness of death.

I think the poem “Rockpool” best depicts the issues I am trying to explain. We have to see ourselves as being in the rockpool, part of the 'the scuttle, the crouch' and being 'eaten by seaworms'. By doing this we are accepting death as a part of our life.'Accept it? Gad, madam, you had better.' We need to get rid of the whole notion of human exceptionaliam, i mean we are still part of the ecological food chain aren’t we? Their are bigger things out there than us...


Literature Entry- Week 7

Judith Wright is a grand old lady of Australian Poetry. Another introduction for her would be Radical environmentalist. The fact of the matter is that no matter how hard we try, we can never grasp her brilliance in terms of words. Much like “words are not meanings for a tree” in Gum- trees Stripping, words cannot describe Wrights meaning, they would only limit her relevance and aims to something far less than intended.
There were a few things that I learnt about her life that I found rather interesting because they beat down my door of what I thought was expected of a poet. She never finished Uni. Instead she worked as a typist- but if she did finish University she would most likely would have developed into a fine Professor. However, she found Uni to be too conformist. This instantly reminded me of the way Alex Miller influenced us into looking negatively on the world of academia in the opening pages of “Journey to the Stone Country.” She is a deeply spiritual poet influenced by Islamic Mysticism, and Christianity. She often taps into the notion of human faith and the “I am better than you” ugly side of religion. She helps us to understand that if you extrapolate this mindset onto a world stage, you’ll understand why we are at war with each other.

Wright is a very provocative poet. For example, she tackles issues in her poem “Age to Youth” that challenges the very notion of conventional wisdom. She is saying that perhaps love is wiser than convention and that you must respect love in order to gain wisdom. She is condoning what is beautiful about young love, those little things like a touch of the hand, so simple yet sp meaningful to the heart. She sees idealism in youth and doesn’t wish it to be knocked out. “Not to listen to the old...who tell them love’s a drink poisoned with sorrow” is her way of telling the young to stay wise in their pursuit of love and happiness and not to believe everything you hear from older people who have perhaps been hurt by love along the way, clouding their judgement. She wants young people to experience things for themselves in order to gain their own wisdom. If you love someone, you’re not going to stop because someone else has told you too. If you are hurt by love, you gain wisdom, so that next time you’ll be a little more guarded only allowing those to pass who are trustworthy and truly loving. This lesson cannot be taught, it needs to be experienced, and that is Wrights message. Why should the elderly be ordained as having more wisdom than a younger person? Where does wisdom come from? Who’s to say the youth are not wiser because they are more open to experience? And as for love itself, I feel that we should simply enjoy it when we encounter it and respect the memory of it when we lose it.
 I loved this metaphore that i found in a blog posted by John Brownlee,

"Awww. The perfect metaphor for young love. If you're a girl, you hurtle blindly backwards on your lover's handlebars, never quite seeing what will eventually dislodge you; if you're a guy, you just keep feverishly pedaling, desperately trying to whirl around the hard-to-avoid obstacles that will send your girlfriend flying away from you."-By John Brownlee

One of my favourite songs of young love: Teddy Geiger "For You I Will".