Both ‘A Mid-Summer Noon’ and ‘Bell-Birds’ use descriptive language to reveal what the poets of these poems, value.
Charles Harpur’s poem, ‘A Mid-Summer Noon in the Australian Forest’, written in 1851 shows how quietness and peace helps him to see beauty in nature, as opposed to a chaotic environment in a city: “O’tis easeful here to lie”.
Also, the word choice of “fire” in the third stanza symbolises an explosion of energy and desire he has, which is to be inspired by the natural aspects of his surroundings: “It’s shards flame out like gems on fire”.
Similarly, Henry Kendall’s poem, ‘Bell-Birds’, written in 1869 highlights the fact that nature gives clarity to his thoughts, inspiration and passion in life. This is evident throughout the poem, in particular, the fifth stanza: “Lyrics with beats like the heart / beats of passion / Songs interwoven of lights and of laughters Borrowed from bell-birds in far forest-rafters”. Here, Kendall explicitly reveals how sounds from nature make him feel, especially when bell-birds sing. Furthermore, Kendall suggests that nature can have the power to heal one’s pain: “Charming to slumber the pain of my losses / With glimpses of creeks and a vision of mosses”. This shows that the serenity in creeks and mosses helps him to recover from any damages that have occurred in his life.
On a different note, studying these poems made me think of the debate that was mentioned in the tour during my visit to the art gallery, which is whether paintings are more expressive than poetry, as people argue that poetry not only paints a picture through imagery, but also explores in depth into what the poet is trying to say.
Jose, Nicholas. Macquarie PEN Anthology Of Australian Literature. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2009. Print.
“Josephine Falls Photos, Queensland Print – Mark Gray Fine Art Landscape Photography”. Markgray.com.au. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.