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Dr Chris Prentice

POEMS CONTINUED David McKee Wright (1869-1928) ‘Our cities face the sea’.  About problem of making place feel like home – having a sense of belonging.  Being torn between new land and attachment to home.  Includes urban settlements, named figures, specific locations.  Choice of specific names and places represent the places they come from.  Diction and tone – Contrast with Pember-Reeves as the language is different for example use of informal, abbreviated names – dropped the H in Harry to represent a certain accent.  Shows ordinary workers who physically developed the country rather than royals.  “whole blooming lot” is an example of colloquial language not seen in Pember-Reeves poems.  Has animates rhythm and rhyme using a ballad with chorus– not as slow as Pember-Reeves which uses the Lambic pentameter – symbolises the rhythm that echos the heartbeat.  Wright creates sense of musicality.’  Symbolises settlers caught between home idea – Is it where one lives or where one is from that defines home?  ‘Home’ is used in consecutive lines but holds different meanings, for example “going home someday” versus “made his home on the hillside” suggests 2 different feelings of home.  Refrain unifies the poem – repeating the phrase “for we take our homeland with us, however we change the sky” unifies the poem with the keywords homeland and sky. This quote can be interpreted as taking everything you call home with them but the physical view around has changed – importing home as we go from one place to another.  Work of building a new country binds us to that country.  Wherever we are or go, our origins come with us. Settler/settler nation – definition: People who are displaced from their own point of origin and may have difficulties in establishing their identity in a new place. In the poem this problem of being torn between 2 places and being in a state of unsettlement is never quite resolved. Mary Ursula Bethell – 1874-1945  Raised in New Zealand but born in England.  She later travelled back to Britain for her education.  She felt she wasn’t torn between the two as she could connect with both – contrasting ideas to Wright.  Has a sense of being fed by 2 sources at once – her English ancestry/colonial experience vs. New Zealand growing up and lifestyle.  Lawrence Baigent sees her as establishing a creative link between her older English heritage and New Zealand lifestyle.  Her English heritage gave her access to literary tradition.  Colonial experience gives her what to write – the raw materials of her poetry.  She is a transitional figure between late colonial and nationalist literature.  Developed her poems through modernism style – they are descriptive but contemplative. Bethell poem “Response” analysis:  Setting – the person she is writing to is in the northern hemisphere as it is spring in April and she is in the souther
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