Aboriginal land rights # According to her daughter, Meredith McKinney, Judith fought two big campaigns in her life – the first was for the conservation of the environment and the second was to secure land rights for the Aboriginal people. Her interest in Aboriginal land rights was sparked by her friendship with fellow poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker). “That’s what she spent her final couple of decades doing,” says Meredith.
Jane Sullivan # As critic Kevin Brophy says: “Everyone loves Judith Wright … she was possibly our greatest poet”. Her biographer Veronica Brady said her poetry “speaks a sense of sacredness in the land”. Fellow poet Robert Gray said she became the conscience of the country. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/turning-pages-how-judith-wright-was-nominated-for-a-nobel-prize-20180125-h0o6kl.html The Unknown Judith Wright. She was born in 1915, had her first poem published at 25, and her first collection appeared in 1946; she continued to write poems until she was 70 and also wrote children’s books and an autobiography, which she was still working on when she died in 2000.
Judith Wright - A Life # Judith Wright was born in 1915, had her first poem published at 25, and her first collection appeared in 1946; she continued to write poems until she was 70 and also wrote children’s books and an autobiography, which she was still working on when she died in 2000. Her poetry and her championing of the environment and Indigenous rights, both in her creative work and in her activism, made her an inspiring figure many years ahead of her time: for me, reading Judith Wright resonates far more with a sense of Australia than reading Henry Lawson or Banjo Paterson.
Sanctuary – Judith Wright # Judith Wright was concerned about the environment. Like Gerard Manly Hopkins,** ***Binsey Populars***, she realised our capacity to destroy our habitat. Many of her poems speak of the natural beauty of Australia and condemn the European exploitive imperialism of natural Australian lands. She also registered her concerns about white Australia’s apathy towards the treatment of the Aboriginal people. This poem is set near Tamborine Mountain in the hinterland of Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Sanctuary # The road beneath the giant original trees sweeps on and cannot wait. Varnished by dew, its darkness mimics mirrors and is bright behind the panic eyes the driver sees caught in headlights. Behind the wheels the night takes over: only the road ahead is true. It knows where it is going; we go too. Sanctuary, the sign said Sanctuary - trees, not houses; flat skins pinned to the road
Woman to Child # ** Woman to Child** You who were darkness warmed my flesh where out of darkness rose the seed. Then all a world I made in me; all the world you hear and see hung upon my dreaming blood. There moved the multitudinous stars, and coloured birds and fishes moved. There swam the sliding continents. All time lay rolled in me, and sense, and love that knew not its beloved.
Woman to Man # * * The eyeless labourer in the night, the selfless, shapeless seed I hold, builds for its resurrection day— silent and swift and deep from sight foresees the unimagined light. This is no child with a child’s face; this has no name to name it by; yet you and I have known it well. This is our hunter and our chase, the third who lay in our embrace.
Judith Wright - Eve to Her Daughters 1966 The speaker, Eve, talks to her daughters after her and Adam’s fall from Eden. She claims it was not she who is to blame for getting them thrown out of Paradise, however then lists the ways in which life has become so much harder for them: draughty shelter, hunger, labour, whining children – yet she is willing to cope. It is Adam who can’t seem to accept their new status, becoming intent on making the world a new Eden.