Blog 6: Double Meaning


2/Write a short creative or critical piece that is inspired by any of the works that we have looked at this week (in lectures & tutorials).

As week 8 has come and gone so quickly within the chaos involved in this journey called “University Life”, it would be silly of me, especially with an upcoming exam, if I didn’t take the time to reflect on what has been taught in my lectures and tutorials; finding out what has been taught and caught.

One of the poems read this week was End of the Picnic, written by Francis Webb. I have decided to write a critical piece to analyze the poem, and will focus on the different meanings that can be taken out of Webb’s words, focusing on different interpretations from one piece of writing.

I will present a table to explain my understanding of selected lines. My interpretation may be wrong compared to the author’s original intent but this exercise is purely to show how different interpretations can come from the same piece of writing; and that these interpretations are created through one’s experience.


Line My Understanding
When that humble-headed elder, the sea, gave his whole strenuous arm to a blasphemy It has been around for ages as the word, “elder” communicates. “blasphemy” represents the sin coming toward the land.
Of unknown endeavor toward the holy beach Double meaning of the word endeavor; adventure/ship. “Holy” because the land is untouched by sin.
Heaven would be watching. And the two men. And the earth, immaculate, illuminant, out of reach. Heaven passes judgment as it is perfect and it is watching.
Hell lay hove-to. Heaven did not move. Hell seems more domineering and overpowering compared to heaven; this paints a dark, horrifying picture as it is communicated to the audience that sin is taking over.
It was heaven and earth jolting out of them shook the men. It was uninitiated scurf and bone that fled. People running from the earth jolting so their skin falls off; aborigines being blended and shifted into white culture.
Cook’s column holds here Nothing will move it. Sin is coming, and fast, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Our ferry is homesick, whistling again and again. The ferry is meant to be on the sea, but because the waters are now contaminated, it feels as if it is not home.
But still I see how the myth of daylight bled standing in ribbons, over our heads, for an hour. Daylight is only a myth now, it is gone. “Bled” continuously pouring out. “Ribbons” suggest daylight is our choice; if we want to receive daylight we need to put in the effort to unravel its gift.


I have chosen this picture of double meaning to emphasise how different interpretations can come from different people, with different experiences, over the same piece of art. If you look closely at this picture, what do you see? Most people, as I did at first, will see a young woman probably in her 20’s, right? You can see her jaw line, her high cheekbones, her ear, eyelashes, her dark hair and the cloak she is wearing over the top of her hair along with a black-feathered coat. Now, take a look at the young lady’s necklace, the black necklace that is around her neck. And I want you not to picture it as a necklace, but as lips; the young ladies jaw line now becomes a large nose, her ear becomes an eye and the young lady is now an old, frail woman who is no longer looking in the distance, but down. Can you see the old lady? The feeling you just experienced is called a Paradigm Shift; where your perspective changes.

The same happen with poetic writing, many interpretations can come across from the same piece of writing depending on who is looking, what you are focusing on and what your eye chooses to see. None of the viewings of this picture are wrong: there is a young lady and there is an old one. Both are right if they can be backed up with enough evidence. Which is how I see poetry. Your interpretation is right as long as you can evidently show how you came to your understanding.



6 thoughts on “Blog 6: Double Meaning

  1. Hi Belle, I enjoyed reading your post on “End of the Picnic” by Francis Webb. I agree that poetry is subjective, and that “interpretations are created through one’s experience.” Your use of the table to outline your understanding of the poem was a good way to demonstrate how someone can break down a poem and try to unravel it in pieces before coming to a summary of the poem as a whole. This is what was lacking for me in your piece though – a summary. I would have liked to read a brief description of your view on the poem as a whole, but apart from that, I enjoyed the format and content.


  2. Hi Annabelle, to be honest this is one of the best entry I’ve ever read in this semester. You have done a fantastic job and your blog is looking fabulous! For this article, I just loved the way you used the picture of double meaning to show how different points of view work. It is really creative and it shows you deeply questioned on poetic writing. Moreover, I particularly like the way you analysed each line in the table: it’s simply and very clear for the reader. I think you should be proud of yourself! 🙂


  3. Hi Belle,

    Wow! what a blog! I love that you thought outside the square and did a table for your entry, I never would have thought to do that, although I might now! 🙂

    It is such a clear and concise table which makes it so easy to read and understand your point of view. Yes – I totally agree that one piece of writing can be interpreted a million different ways and I guess that is why it is so crucial to look at external factors from the author as well as yourself to understand why you have certain views and interpretations!

    Just focusing on one of your interpretations,

    “Hell lay hove-to. Heaven did not move.

    Hell seems more domineering and overpowering compared to heaven; this paints a dark, horrifying picture as it is communicated to the audience that sin is taking over.”

    You took a different view to me, at that point in the poem I did not grasp the idea of sin but a more literal understanding, that the endeavour was coming towards them while heaven (their land) stood in its place. In saying this I do understand your interpretation as it matches up with the rest of the poem. I also enjoyed that you included an additional image to further push your argument! It related perfectly and took me ages to see the younger women! You must be a very creative person 🙂


  4. Annabelle, you’ve shown a deep understanding of the content taught over the past several weeks in lectures and tutorials. I really enjoyed your use of the table to show the link between the poetry and your understanding as it was clear and concise. However, you forgot to reference the quotes you used. Also, when referencing a poem, be sure to use double inverted commas rather than italics. Other than that, great job!


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