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
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.