Reflections of Australia in Judith Wright's Poetic Imagination : The Power of Ambivalence in The Gateway
In 1953, Judith Wright (1915-2000), one of the greatest Australian poets, published her third anthology, The Gateway, in which she developed her own poetic perspective on Australia. The poems collected in this work create several kinds of images about a gateway symbolizing the moment and place that every existence changes. The poet constructs a tense panorama of many scenes; the austere drought and flood in Australia, the death of the creatures and human beings, some legends and myth about death and rebirth, and human spiritual resurrection through love. The influence of European poets is seen in the way she incorporates metaphysical devices in her poems, the use of which creates both ambivalent feelings and ambiguous attitudes towards contrastive themes and ideas. Death-in-life versus life-in-death taking place in the Australian wilderness makes her insight deeper, and terror versus relief in our human feelings pervades in the poems' lines. The difficult adventures and toilsome colonization by immigrants left their offspring fruits of their harvest contrasts with the lives of aboriginals who were sacrificed by the whites' colonization but who can still recount the legends that have continued to provide power enough to survive. These patterns of life echo throughout Judith Wright's poetry.
- Chugokugakuen journal
Chugokugakuen journal 2, 33-39, 2003