Mid 19th Century Australian Values

Looking at these two poems describing a natural scene (“A Mid-Summer Noon…” & “Bell-Birds”, say what you think each poet values and how they differ in their appreciation and their expression.

Over the course of my Australian Literature studies this semester, we are now at the stage where we are studying Mid 19th Century Authors, and the values they bring to Australia’s values. Whether these values include the emphasis of colour or embracing the calming sounds of unique Australian wildlife, these values are shown through the literary ‘paintings’ of Henry Kendall & Charles Harpur.

Charles Harpur’s “A Mid-Summer Noon in the Australian Forest” (1851) emphasises the visual representations of Australia. The poet values the beauty, energy & danger of Australian forest, allowing him to emphasise the silence while he focuses on the visual representation Australian wildlife. In addition to the values of the Australian forest, the poet personifies the visual characteristics of different fauna to contrast their natural beauty against the darkness of the forest. The poet allows us to pursue into a deep thought as his representation of the night is used for reflection, silence as well as peace and quiet.

Henry Kendall’s “Bell-Birds”(1869) on the other hand focuses on the calming, embracing sounds of the “bing” noise, created by the birds. The poet focuses

A Bellbird, One of the most unique creatures, living in the Australian Wildlife. (www.treknature.com/gallery/ Australia/photo43222.htm)

on the comforts of nature, allowing him to have inspiration to write with passion, with the sounds of the Bell-Birds. As the sounds of the birds provide a sense of relief from the city, the poet portrays this embracing sound to be calming as it connotes a sense of reflection on the life within Australia and how much of a British influence the country has had over the years.


To allow you to have an insight into what this beautiful creature sounds like, follow the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_72WGRT0mJw


Both poets have a unique point of view, based on the Australian values within the mid-nineteenth century. However, the poets both focus on two different aspects, one visual and the other auditorial. Both of their values express the Outback nature of the country and provide a powerful emphasis on Australian values.




6 thoughts on “Mid 19th Century Australian Values

  1. saxonmarketo says:


    Your analyses of both poems is intriguing and insightful. I agree with your comparison of the artists and their separate poems, the depth that you have thought about each poem really gives a positive thought on the uniqueness each poet has describing Australia’s vast nature. Finally the touch of adding a youtube clip with a sound of the bell-birds I found to be awesome, adds another layer to the actual poem itself.

    Keep up the good work!


  2. alanaazzopardi1 says:

    Hello Joshua,
    Reading through your ‘Mid 19th Century Australian Values’ blog has allowed me to learn more about Australian values, poems and poets. Your blog is a great insight into this topic, I enjoyed your blog very much. In particular, I liked how you introduced your blog, mentioning what stage you are at in your studies, making unfamiliar readers of your blog aware of what it is you are studying and going to write about further in your blog. I also like how clearly you have stated the themes and visual representations in the poems. You have clearly mentioned what the poet values in the poem, which makes for a strong point to be conveyed to your readers. You have also stated poetic techniques each poet has used in their poem, this is great Joshua, this creates strong evidence, which backs up what you are conveying in your blog. I loved how you compared the two poems to each other, raising points about what each poem has focused on differently to the other. Such a strong blog entry Joshua, for the future here is some constructive criticism to improve your blogs. Try to link back to the question at the end of every paragraph, you have linked back to the question at the end but I feel this is not enough, try to refocus your readers by linking to the question throughout your blog. Overall such a compelling and well though out blog Joshua, keep up the good work fellow blogger.


  3. michaelgriffith1 says:

    This is an excellent entry Joshua and is actually much more fluent and mistake-free than your Summative Entry, so it is really good to know that you are capable of putting words together effectively- when you take more care!!!
    *Please attend to editing your work carefully. Here is what I have picked up:
    *the visual representation Australian wildlife. I= the visual representation of Australian wildlife.
    * The poet allows us to pursue into a deep thought= The poet allows us to pursue a deep thought


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s