Peer Review Five.

Hey David,

Your blog post this week really showed the great understanding you have of the novel. It is obvious through the way that you write that you love David Malouf’s style and have found it easy to understand. Whilst your retelling of the novel was entertaining and helpful to read, I struggled to find what blog topic you had posted your entry on. I realized after that you had posted your blog before Michael even posted the topics (amazing!). I thought you had taken on the challenge to write your own blog topic, which is great! Perhaps mentioning at the start of your entry what your topic is as it guides the reader to understand the post more fluently. Like mentioned before, your entry was clear and concise so it was not a major issue. I also admire how our tutorial finished exactly and hour ago and your blog topic for the week is already published!

Well done on having a thorough understanding of the novel. Your insights in class are always helpful.



Blog Five. Francis Webb.

Chose any one of Webb’s poems that we explored in class and say what it is that you find most attractive in it. This is not a lit. crit. essay, but your own personal response to the power of poetry.


Francis Webb was a famous poet born in 1925. My favourite poem of his is titled Five Days Old and was dedicated to Christopher John.

For this blog post, I am simply going to pull out certain quotes from the poem and interpret their meaning.

Stanza one:

“You are given into my hands out of the quietest, loneliest lands” This line paints the picture of a mother giving birth and the persona depicting his emotions felt after the first physical contact. The mention of the quiet and loneliest lands has two meaning for me: firstly, the newborn was hope personified. The land was lonely until this baby breathed its first. And secondly, time stood still throughout this moment of birth to highlight the importance and significance of this child.

Stanza two:

“The tiny, not the immense” something so great has been taught and caught through a creation so tiny. This line continues in to say, “will teach our groping eyes” which emphasizes the loss and lack that man has, that has been so confidently replaced by the wisdom that this baby has brought.

Stanza three:

“Humbly and utterly lost in the mystery of creation” ‘creation’, meaning the baby and the earth both guiding the persona to reach his deepest thoughts. This also can link to his acceptance and realization of his experience through the mental ward.

Stanza Four:

“Too pure for my tongue to praise, that sober, exquisite yawn” this line could capsulate the entire essence of the poem as it refers to the innocence of the baby. The term ‘sober’, meaning untouched, unaffected and uninfluenced by the world – purely fresh, almost a blank canvas with a whole lifetime ahead of good choices and purity.

Stanza Five:

“Tell me what I hold – Myrrh? Frankincense? Gold?” This line was particularly difficult for me to understand, after much thought I have concluded that this line radiates the revelation that this newborn baby holds more than materialistic objects. This baby is priceless.

Stanza Six:

“Out here by the manger. In the sleeping, weeping weather we shall all kneel down together” sense of the end of suffering and acceptance taking over.


This poem was said to be his best poem. I agree with this statement as I enjoyed the simplicity in wisdom discovered through creation. His journey of acceptance of his experience in the mental ward is represented in the moment he held this baby. I particularly admired how the quick moment of the first physical touch could not be expressed in the same length of the time that it happened, but rather, in poetry form.


Francis Webb Commemorative Reading of his Poetry- this Saturday 12 September, 2015.


I have decided to contrast the two photos of Francis Webb and a five-day-old baby to portray the differences in their lifetime. Webb, looks weighed down by the world – carrying heaviness and burdens. The baby, on the other hand, looks the complete opposite – fresh and ready to start a brand new chapter. Physicalising Webb’s poem with these two photos enhances my understanding of the journey he went through. His journey seemed so detrimental that I believe the flawed minds of humans can only understand a fraction of it.

Peer Review Four.


Hey Brittney, great blog post!

I enjoyed your opener that provided some background information on Francis Webb himself. This shows your depth of research toward the topic. It was eye opening to read your perception of the colour green, and the meaning that it had upon you. You expressed the meaning of the colour to represent the richness of life and growth. To me, the colour green is associated with jealousy and evilness so I enjoyed reading a different perspective.

It was interesting to see that you referenced your knowledge of Webb’s faith. Although this is a platform for personal expression and therefore deep research is not necessarily needed, your reference shows your interest in his background context and how it resonates in his work. The only thing I would critique is that you did not add a works cited or a link to your reference. Although it is not needed in blogs, it would have been nice to link your reference for the reader to enhance the credibility of your added research. You deserve the credit after the hard work!

Overall, I think you have amazing insights toward Webb’s poetry and I admire how reading your work opens my mind to more perspectives.

Well done!

Belle 🙂

Peer Review Three.

I thoroughly enjoyed your blog this week. I liked your take on what the painting communicated for you and your observation on the use of natural colours. Your mention of Romanticism was a good link to prior knowledge and added a lot of credibility to the piece.

Your connection of the painting to Wright’s poems was clear, eye opening and helped me to realise that one meaning can be conveyed through many aspects and platforms. I thought it was quite wise of you to mention two of Wright’s poems that you noticed a link  to as it gives the reader deeper insight into your understanding of the piece and the message that it communicates.

In the last line of your blog, you wrote “Nicholas’ artwork correlates to texts we have studied in class as she incorporates the same subject matter as Wright does in her poem which is that technology will be the end humanity”. This sentence, although it expresses your argument, seems to be missing a word. Perhaps you meant, “… as Wright does in her poem, which is that technology will be the end of humanity”, or, “will end humanity”. Additionally to this, the sentence was quite lengthy and might read better with a comma between “poem” and “which”. However, your blog was still clear to read and I think you have an eye for detail that is evident in the way you put your thoughts to words.

You chose wisely in which artistic piece you wanted to write on as Nicholas’ painting matches well with your attention to detail.

Thank you for this blog! See you in class!



Blog Four. Island Bush Experience.

Describe an experience that you have had in the bush where you have felt that there is more than simply material reality around you.


For this week’s blog topic surrounding the theme of Patrick White’s novel, The Tree of Man, I have decided to share a story of my experience travelling overseas in February of this year.


The Island of Lifou is a beautiful Island in New Caledonia that is surround by the bluest water imaginable:

lifou 4

Own photo.

During my trip there, my younger sister and I had the amazing opportunity of going cave diving! The travel to the cave was at least a 15-minute bush walk through the longest grass I’ve seen and the most amazing lookouts, as well. During our bush walk, we came across this huge piece of rock that ended with a 100-meter drop to the water (and of course we dangerously climbed right to the edge):

lifou 5

Own photo.

When we arrived at the cave entry, we saw before us a very detailed jungle. We started the journey on ground level and walked directly down for 20 minutes. Throughout this hike, we began to see that the jungle itself was a massive hole in the ground that had been beautifully overwhelmed with nature. The rock walls were green with vines and there were many trees that had sprung from earth’s ground that were entangled with one another, forming one massive web of greenery. By the end of this, we were underground and had to crawl in between gigantic rocks to finally reach the cave:


We were finally at the cave with pitch black water and no sunlight to guide our way. The jump from the rock to the water was about 2 meters and the local people of the Island were unaware of how deep the cave was:

lifou 2

In this photo you can see the rock from which we jumped off. The rest of the photo (that seems to just be black) is the water we jumped into.

The water was freezing, yet so refreshing. After the swim, we pulled our body weight up by a rope that was tied against a huge rock to get ourself back to the surface.

The whole experience was one I have not stopped thinking about since it happened and I have already started making plans to go back. What stayed with me long after the holiday was the natural aspect of the entire experience. The local people that lived on the Island were some of the sweetest souls I have met. The Island itself, was full of beautiful flowers, tress, water and dogs everywhere! There were a whole bunch of dogs on the Island that were not particular anyone’s pet, they simply belonged to the Island and everyone there. The local’s relied entirely on the Island for their food, shelter, clothing, schooling and wellbeing and in the short time that I was there, I experienced their daily schedule. They had a beautifully old fashioned Church, a grave yard and little shops that were filled with all sorts of little items that the visitors could buy. They had built their own houses and formed their own school, and my favourite part about their lifestyle was that everyone there was a family. Everyone looked out for one another and treated one another as their brother or sister.

This experience helped me to realise that everything one’s soul searches for in life (intimacy, connection, sense of belonging) can truly be found within the people we surround ourselves with. The Island of Lifou and its people truly embark this simplicity of life and embody what it means that having less is to have more.


Some more photos of the beautiful Island



Peer Review Two.

The artwork that made up majority of your blog post was one of my favourite pieces! On the Wallaby Track speaks so many stories: the love of relationship between the husband and wife, and their relationship with their baby, their lifestyle and the measures people go to for provision. I think you perfectly encapsulated the essence of this painting in the words, “This piece expresses attitudes of stereotypical Australian laboring life along the bush tracks”. This sentence, despite communicating their lifestyle, could be worded differently. Perhaps you meant something along the lines of, “This piece expresses the stereotypical attitudes incorporated in the laboring life of Australians who lived among the bush tracks”

I particularly liked how you incorporated three artworks into this week’s blog. Your use of comparison and insight towards various paintings shows your understanding toward them. You mentioned your favourite piece at the end of your blog. The piece itself was quite attractive to the eye. I would have liked to see mention of the artist and a detailed response as to why it was your favourite. Overall, your blog showed great insight into artworks that you so creatively thought out. Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading more of your work over the semester ☺

Blog Three. John Glover.

Broad- what new attitudes to Australia did you note from today’s visit?


Visiting the Art Gallery is a regular day in the life of a literature student. I believe this is my fourth visit since beginning my course early last year and every visit I walk away having discovered so much about the topic and people within it. My favourite visit was in my first year studying Oz Lit. Unfortunately, my blog posts in that category all mistakenly got deleted when I created new topics, but didn’t realize until a year later when it was too late to retrieve them all!

Anyway, this time round I studied John Glover’s painting for a similar topic: Reading Australia. Glover’s painting, Launceston and the river Tamar dates back within his first year living in Australia (1831). He captured the sacredness of Australia within this painting despite only engaging in its beauty for one year. This is a testament to the beauty of Australia and to Glover’s determination to encapsulate such tranquility. Personally, I find that quite astonishing. To have such a short experience in an environment, yet produce a piece that depicts so many aspects of its surrounding beauty so easily shows pure talent and eye for detail.

Here are some aspects of this painting that highlight Australia and caught my attention:

Trees: The Gum Trees first caught my eye upon looking at this painting. There are many of them and they are spread out near and far. One thing that stood out to me was the particular angle in which the branches are headed in different directions (especially on the centered tree). It is as if Glover had painted them purposely to show their submission to the wind. Additionally, the base of the painting is covered with a large branch that appears to have fallen from a tall gum tree. If you look closely, you can see that there are plants starting to grow around and in line with this fallen branch. Both the branches moving with the wind and the plants growing in line with the branch are elements of the painting that show nature’s harmonious being. They are one and work together as one.

The Bird: I have looked at this painting over the period of two art gallery trips. I almost wrote a blog about this specific painting last semester, but decided to analyse another of Glover’s famous works. This time round, as I am analyzing this piece, I have noticed something that I did not pick up on last time. On the fallen branch, there is a tiny red bird sitting at the center of it. Not only is this bird so small in comparison to the rest of nature’s magnificent creations, but it is also camouflaged with the red soil that saturates the earth’s ground. This communicates to me that everything in nature has its own ordained place. The branch falling was not a mistake, but simply nature’s way. It has not been disposed of; it is untouched by man, and it has resulted in creating a space for a bird to sit. How simple, right? I think Glover intended this bird to be placed on the fallen branch rather than flying in the sky to represent nature’s beauty and purpose.

The woman: Finally, toward the bottom right hand corner in the painting, there is a woman in standing with her back toward the viewer’s eye, staring into the open. We look in the same direction she is, and we see everything she does – the trees, water, mountaintops, dirt, soil, the bird, flowers and the sky. She looks to be contemplating. Glover’s positioning of this lady has communicated to me that nature is a safe place for contemplation and discovery. I also find it interesting how the little umbrella she is holding is not directly above her head. I believe that this is symbolizing that nature provides what we need as it did long before anything manmade. That is, she is receiving shade from the trees and as a result the umbrella’s purpose is overruled.

John Glover, thanks to these art gallery visits, has become my favourite artist.

john g.jpg