Same Song Poetry Analysis Essay

This poem applies to adults as well as children. It is about superficial beauty. Depending on the society, certain physical features are accepted (endorsed and ‘passively’ accepted) as beautiful. Typically, these are things like symmetry and athletic or curvaceous (females) body types. And although beauty is subjective, there are clearly certain types of beauty that dominate because media, artists and advertisers endorse iconic images that many passively accept as “essential” or the best idea of beauty.

The “same song” means that both of his children have been affected by this anxiety of living up to society’s “majority rule” of physical beauty. It is also a "same song," because this is a recurring historical situation. Both children “frown” despite their best efforts. The images of beauty that bombard us (via media, art, internet, etc.) are impossible to live up to. This is certainly true in the age of air brushing and Photo Shop, but it has always been the case, especially with external beauty, that people go to great lengths to live up to these impossible standards. The pursuit of external beauty is bound to affect the child or the adult psychologically unless he/she can accept the superficiality of it all.


A Song of Hope by Kath Walker

My teacher told me, when I was little, I took everything for granted and never thought anything of it, that, at a time in every person’s life, they’ll look back and reflect upon their choices. She said some people regret their decisions, what they’ve done with their lives as well and how they’ve influenced others, and so they try to quickly change, but changing is difficult and it takes time, so just take it step by step.  She said that to one of my friends who was always in trouble and bullying people. I was six when I heard this, and I couldn’t stop laughing. I think now and realise I probably made her quite mad actually. However, when I read this poem, I noticed the similarities between the poem and what my teacher had said. A Song of Hope was written to express racism in Australia and how much it affects people. It was published by Kath Walker, an aboriginal Australian who’s more commonly known as Oodgeroo.

Look up, my people,

The dawn is breaking

The world is waking

To a bright new day

When none defame us

No restriction tame us

Nor colour shame us

Nor sneer dismay.

Now brood no more

On the years behind you

The hope assigned you

Shall the past replace

When a juster justice

Grown wise and stronger

Points the bone no longer

At a darker race.

So long we waited

Bound and frustrated

Till hate be hated

And caste deposed

Now light shall guide us

No goal denied us

And all doors open

That long were closed.

See plain the promise

Dark freedom-lover!

Night's nearly over

And though long the climb

New rights will greet us

New mateship meet us

And joy complete us

In our new Dream Time.

To our fathers' father

The paid, the sorrow;

To our children's children

The glad tomorrow.

A Song Of Hope. The name in itself gives you a fairly clear idea of the poem; however, it doesn’t give away everything. It lets you know that the text is to give hope, but nothing about a new beginning after the racial tension between the natives and white settlers and it hides that it’s directed at Aboriginals. It’s very well-worded and powerful and bluntly states the faults and flaws of white Australians. I don’t know for certain, but I think someone who doesn’t share the same viewpoints as Oogeroo, would feel indirectly confronted. Walker wants you to think about your actions before your act and your words before you speak. She wants you to feel, bad, in a way, but I think she also wants you to feel sad and then, about half-way through, she tries to lift your spirit and say: “Well, you can’t change the past, so let’s work hard towards a tomorrow without racism.”

During A Song of Hope, certain lines especially caught my attention, either because I didn’t get them and so I tried to grasp an understanding of them, or simply because I liked they were written.  For example: Till the hate be hated. I really loved this line. At first, it didn’t make any sense but then I realized it meant: until the hate towards black is hated by us. Another example is here, in line 3: The world is waking. This is actually when I started paying attention to what I was reading. When I first saw the poem, I just scrolled down and almost closed the tab before I read this line. At that point, it made me wake up, and keep reading.

Oodgeroo’s Song of Hope has being set out in the structure of a well-written ballad. She uses many poetic terms such as rhyme at the end of most lines and imagery. The rhyme of each line is used to better create rhythm and flow throughout the poem so the reader doesn’t become too confused. Imagery, like most poems, is done to paint a richer and more vivid picture. Her poetics devices are very inspiring and create a deep on impact on the reader.

Overall, A Song of Hope tells the story of a bright new day where racism lives no longer and Aboriginals are accepted and allowed their rights among our society. Kath Walker demonstrates a vast understanding of human’s feelings and emotions. It’s also evident that she can easily connect with her people and their wishes. She uses a huge vocabulary and carefully words each line as to leave a long lasting impression. Thank-you very much for listening.

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