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English Essay

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Comparative Essay, "The Dawn is at Hand" and "Song of Hope" The well known poet, Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal tribe, uses her two poems, Song of Hope and The Dawn is at Hand, to examine coming equality between her people, the Aboriginal race and the White community. These two poems both aim to convince Aborigines that racial equality is imminent. She explores this concept by making use of poetic devices. To understand how Oodgeroo achieves this aim, it is important to examine the form, tone and imagery used in the two poems. Oodgeroo has uses the characteristics of dramatic monologues to assist her in examining the approaching parity between the Aborigines and the Whites. The Dawn is at Hand and Song of Hope, both follow the poetic characteristics of a dramatic monologue, with a singular speaker addressing "[her] people" (Song of Hope 1) and "dark brother" (The Dawn is at Hand 1). In both poems, the poet's voice is central to the poem. Oodgeroo develops the poem by addressing her people in second person plural in The Dawn is at Hand and grouping them together as one group by using first person plural in Song of Hope. ...read more.


Oodgeroo has constructed her poems with specific word choices to create an appropriate tone which represents the arrival of unity between the "Dark and White" (The Dawn is at Hand 17). The tone in the poem persuades the reader to seek for equality between the white and aborigines. Certain elements, including use of emotive words, have assisted in creating this tone, evoking compassion in the reader. In the Song of Hope, the poet refers to words such as "shame" (6) and "sorrow" (22), bringing the injustices suffered by the Aborigines to the attention of the reader. In the Song of Hope, Oodgeroo has incorporated many abstract nouns, such as "mateship" (28) and "joy" (29), which serves to evoke the feeling of being immersed in a spiritual reality. This enables the audience to glimpse the bright future filled with hope for both races. Another factor which affects the tone, is the rhythm of the poems. In song of hope, the poem is quick paced with a specific beat, making the readers want to repeat the song over and over, immersing themselves in the coming of equality. ...read more.


The dawning of a new era of equality is central to both poems; therefore, "dawn" has been referred immediately in the title of The Dawn is at Hand and in the second line of The Song of Hope. The poet has also used personification to create a visual image and capture feelings of hope. In the Song of Hope, mateship has been given a human characteristic since it is able to "meet [them]" (28). The personifying of abstract nouns shows the reader that rather than lacking concrete items, they lack the respect, joy and freedom each individual deserves. The aborigines long for "new rights [to] greet [them]" (Song of hope 27) and a "future which beckons [them] bravely on" (Dawn is at Hand 26). With these words, the poet holds the potential to receive symphathy from the reader who empathises with the Aborigines who have suffered from the unjust actions of the 'Whites'. Oodgeroo's dramatic monologues, The Dawn is at Hand and Song of Hope examine approaching racial equality between the Aborigines and the 'Whites'. In both poems, the certainty in Oodgeroo's voice forces the Aborigines to believe that "the dawn is at hand". ...read more.

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