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06 February 2009 @ 03:07 pm
My Country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

- Dorothea Mackellar

Andreaneverreal on February 9th, 2009 04:36 am (UTC)
My Dad likes to quote that at me. I think he thinks it's going to make me like the outback. lol
Tweed Boytweed_boy on February 9th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)
I just think it's a beautiful poem. Especially remarkable given she grew up in Sydney and wrote it whilst feeling homesick in England when she was only 19 years old.

It's right up there with Banjo Paterson's two most famous poems (Waltzing Matilda and The Man from Snowy River) imho.

And it's not so much about the outback per se, it's moreso just about country and regional Australia. Outback tends to imply the uninhabited regions (Northern SA, NT, non-coastal WA, Northwest NSW and Western Qld), whereas her poem is about the beauty of the land where people live.

Well, that's how i read it...
Andreaneverreal on February 9th, 2009 05:06 am (UTC)
I guess I just don't get into that kind of thing. I understand and appreciate it from an objective point of view but it doesn't move me personally. But I get why it moves so many other people. I'm not going to say anything about Banjo Patterson ;]
Tweed Boytweed_boy on February 9th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
And here i was, thinking your journey to the mid-north might've instilled some passion of the scenery in Australia's countryside.

If only i could share the remarkable scenery of the lower Glenelg River; the rainforests in the Otway Ranges, Southern Gippsland (hopefully not destroyed by the current fires), Fitzroy Falls, Northern Rivers NSW; the mountains, lakes and coast in Tasmania; the alpine regions in Northern Victoria and Southern NSW; the beaches of North Queensland and WA; and the absolutely breathtaking Kakadu National Park.

I think you might understand what is really out there...

I'm not a typically patriotic Australia - hell, i pretty much despise the concept of national patriotism in a global society; but i do believe that we're extremely lucky to live in such an incredibly beautiful country.