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JUDITH WRIGHT We enter a plea : Not Guilty, For the good of the old country, The land was

taken; the Empire had loyal service Would any convict us? Our plea has been endorsed by every appropriate jury. -The Curse of Cain; the Violent Legacy of Monothesim. Judith Arundell Wright (1915-2000) was an Australian poet, environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights. JW has been rightly called the conscience of the nation for her ongoing and passionate commitment to Australia, environment and the Aboriginal people. While talking about poets in the book Judith Wright, poet A.D. Hope says that : They (poets) make themselves out of two things: a natural gift and fascination for the imaginative effect of words and a passionate detachment from the world of experience. . . They are gifts rare in childhood but JW seems to have been blessed with both. Born as a white in Australia, she was painfully shocked at the realization that she was born of the conquerors. JW was keenly and sensitivity aware of the past wrongs, and carried the guilt like a cross of Albatross. According to Rodney Hall in Themes in Judiths poetry, She had been brought up on the land, she lived on the land and loved it, but she knew she was not of it. The major concerns in her poetry are the environment and the post-colonial aspects of Australia. In her own words in the poem For the Pastoral Family, she writes: Our people who gnawed at the fringe -----------------Left you a margin of action, a rural security, And left to me What serves as a base for poetry, a doubtful song that has a dying fall. The field of post-colonial studies address well the issues found in JWs poetry. One of the pivotal texts in establishing the theory and practice in this field of study was Orientalism (1978) by the Palestinian-American Scholar Edward said. Said applied a revised form of Michel Foucaults historicist critique of discourse to analyse Cultural Imperialism. (Eurocentric Discourse) An important aspect of post colonial texts is the rejection of the master narrative of western imperialism in which the colonial other is subordinated and marginalized. This is clearly seen in the most celebrated of JWs poems Bullocky

While past the campfires crimson ring the star-struck darkness cupped him round, and centuries of cattlebells rang with their sweet uneasy sound. Here the campfire light represents an alien culture that has been stamped onto what it sees as nothing or darkness. (John Salter- A Post Colonial Reading of the poetry of JW). This poem has been liked to such poems as Henry Lawsons The Teams. This was also the point JW was making in The Upside-down Hut (1961). In the influential book The Empire writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial literature, Bill Aschroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin stress what they term the Hybridization of colonial languages and cultures in which imperialist importations are super imposed on indigenous traditions. This form of post colonial phenomenon is seen in the poem Bora Ring winch is about an important ceremony of Initiation in at the Bora ground in aboriginal cultures. The Subaltern is way to address a colonial (Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak - Can the Subaltern Speak? (1988). [kenosis an emptying out of the self.]. JW talks about this form of silencing in the poem Niggers Leap, New England. This poem is a lament for the historical massacre of Aboriginals who screamed while falling in flesh from the cliff and there were silent. JW writes :Make a cold quilt across the bone and skull that screamed falling in flesh from the lipped cliff and there were silent, waiting for the flies. JW has emphasized on the negativity of silence. To use the words of Wittgenstein at the end of his Tractatus, Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. [At Edward Irbys Bolivian station, A whole tribal group of Aboriginals was driven over a cliff in retaliation for the spearing of a shepherd. The commissioners report mentioned the but stated nothing about the massacre.] R.B. Walker made reference to this in his book Old New England: A history of the Northern Tablelands : We punished them severely and proved our superiority. JW also wrote about the total failure of assimilation as a political and social policy for dealing with black Australian in the poem Half-cast Girl: On the other side of the road The dark ones stand Something leaks in our blood Like the ooze from a word. *terra-nullius

A proper study of JWs poetry begins if she takes her works as a methodological field. Roland Barthes distinguishes between Work and Text (1971), [Work as taken from an immense textual field.] JW draws heavily on the Jungian concept of shadow. Jacques Lacan provides a model of understanding of JWs poetry. He describes that point in human development at relationship with its reality i.e. between the inner and the outer worlds as the mirror stage. He wrote in 1949 : we only have to understand the mirror stage as an identification. (The mirror stage - it is a misrecognition because this I is merely a self-image.) Language Appropriation According to Anika Lemaire in the book Jacques Lacan, there is no thought without language, knowledge of the world, of others and the self is determined by language. Ken Goodwin writes in A History of Australian Literature that the fundamental tension of Australian literature has been understood as a conflict between land and language. This project (Land) reaches a zenith in Wrights work Phantom Dwelling (1985). Foucault > Author-discourse Colonialism is an obvious theme in two poem large sequences, Four Poems from New Zealand and Four A Pastoral Family. End of Monarchy, River Bend, Summer, Half-way, At Cooloola, A Document, Australia 1978. The identity crisis (Alterity) became the theme of her poem Glass Corridor: Who knows which I am, ... Or how many? In Woman to Man, she writes of the child in her womb as the blind head butting at the dark. According to Rodney Hall it says something of the intellect assailing the void and the fatal consequences of Fertility. This is the maker and the made, This is the question and reply. The tone and texture show the flood as being shaped, beyond reason and measurements, beyond the possibilities of being humanized. Poem : Australia 1970 I praise the scoring drought, the flying dust, The drying creek, the furious animal, That they oppose us still; That we are ruined by the thing we kill.

--- Dark/Light Imagery. According to Michael Ackland, Much as Patrick White invigorated and spiritualised the often humdrum prose of Australian realist fiction, so Wright recast local subjects, plumbing them for timeless truths and stressing the need for unison with the land. (We Call for a Treaty 1985, The Cry of the Dead) The Moving Image closes : Our dream was the wrong dream, Our strength was the wrong Strength. ECOFEMINISM Sprayed with chemicals, seduced by fertilizers, warped by machinery, eroded by mining and worst of all, entrapped by concrete jungles we call cities, the Earth of Australia sometimes can be compared with a woman forced to endure degradation and misuse in the hands of conquerors. (From editorial, The Catholic Weekly, 6 Nov. 1985.) JW deals with the relationship between man and environment, which is viewed as the catalyst for poetic creation. JW is well known for her campaigning in support of the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island. She realises the aboriginals love for their land. She wrote in The Cry of the Dead that, It was the loss of the land, which was the worst. She wrote in the poem, The Curse of Cain; the Violent Legacy of Monotheism, We stepped on sure and conceded ground A whole society. Extended a comforting cover of legality. An eco-feminist reading of the works can be done to understand Whites concerns. A poem - Moving South: In the last 200 years, its (land) Spirituality has been ignored as, it has progressively raped. Her very first work The Moving Image (1946) shows her love for the Bush and Bush people. Term eco-criticism was coined in late 1970s criticism with the shortened form of ecology. Alternatively known as environmental criticism and green studies, it explores the relations between literature and the biological and physical environment. James Thompsons long poem in blank verse The Seasons (1726-30), widely practiced the genre called Nature Writing. In England this literary form was largely initiated by Gilbert Whites Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789) and in America popularized by Henry David Thoreaus Walden (1854). They questioned the threats to the environment by Urbanization and Industrialization. According to Shirley Walker , The sense of the negative forms the backdrop of all her work, including her writings on conservation and environmental issues, her anti-

0nuclear activities, and her two books on aboriginal affairs. In the poem Lament for passenger Pigeon, JW laments to know how we can reinvent the bird and its migratory instincts after we have wiped out the species. She writes, And it is the man we eat and man we drink And man who thickens round us like a stain. --at the polar axis smells of me. It was due to the Environmental movement which originated in America with important activist writers like John Burroughs and John Muir. Two especially influential books were Aldo Leopolds A Sand Country Almanac 1949 and Rachel Carsons Silent Spring, 1962. By the 1990s it had become a recognized and rapidly growing field of literary study, with its own organization ASLE: Association for the study of literature and Environment and its own journal ISLE: Inter disciplinary studies in literature and environment. Recurrent issues in eco-criticism are : Western Civilizations are deeply anthropocentric, the Humanism of the 18th century Enlightenment and the triumph of what has been called the scientific-technologicalindustrial complex in the 19th and 20th centuries. Counter Movement : Deep Ecology Such is the view expressed by JW in the poem A Childs Nightmare: Earth is sad yet glittering Star. Bodied in beast and man and bird, She seeks her Vision and her fear Old Chaos and the shaping word; And we who travel on her path Hold ecstasy and nightmare both. To replace anthropocentricism by eco-centricism: (the view that all living things and their earthly environment; no less than human species, possess importance, value , and even moral and political rights.) [Binaries such as Man/Nature, Urban / Rural.] As Wendell Berry wrote in The Unsettling of America 1977, We and our country create one another, depend upon one another, are literally part of one another... our culture and our place are images of each other, and inseparable from each other. Similar idea was presented by Thoreau, In Wilderness is the preservation of the World. (Walking, Excursions, 1863). JW places emphasis on importance of birds, Poem Camping at Split Rock: . . . The bird go by; But we can name and hold them, each a word That crystals round a more than mortal bird. Many eco-critics recommend Green reading. The writing Annette Kolodny gave impetus to what has come to be called eco-feminism- the analysis of the role attributed to women in fantasies of the natural environment by male authors. The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters (1975).

Some environment critics say that the problem can be solved by the rejection of the western religions (instead ecocentric religions). Influntial essay by Lynn White, Jr. Is The Historical roots of our Ecological Crisis. Autralian philosopher John Passmore Mans Responsibilty for Nature: Ecological Problems and Western Traditions, 1974, talks about human responsibility and maintains that the human relationship to non-human world is not one of mastery, but of Stewardship. WW in 8th book of The Excursion (1814) wrote about destruction the outrage done to nature by newly established factories that foul the air and pollute the waterways. The poem Tableau shows compassion of JW. She won the 1994 Human Rights and Equal Opportubity Commission Poetry Award for Collected Poems. She was the second Australian to receive the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry in 1991. The Moving Image 1946 Woman to Man 1949 Woman to Child 1949 The gateway 1953 The two Fires 1955 Australian Birds Poems 1961 Birds 1962 City Sunrise 1964 The Other half 1966 Alive 1973 Works of criticism include: Charles Harpur 1963 & Henry Lawson 1967 Other works include The Generation Of Men 1959 and The Cry for the Dead 1981.