Douglas Stewart and the Bible

In my opinion, Douglas Stewart’s poetry conveys ideas strongly compatible with the Bible’s teaching that man was given the responsibility to take care of nature. Stewart’s poem entitled “Lady Feeding the Cats” emphasises a woman’s responsibility to feed feral cats. He wrote, “To feed those outlaws prowling about the Domain.” With the help of comparing the cats to outlaws, Stewart conveys a sense of responsibility to feed the “outlaws” even if they are wild cats. Another one of Stewart’s poem titled “Wombat” emphasises on the respect and care given to creatures like wombats. He wrote, “we have one mother, good brother,” when conversing with the wombat. This shows a strong connection between man and animals that pushes man has to care for the animals. Thus, giving man a sense of responsibility towards nature.

On the other hand, I believe Stewart’s poetry contains messages that are incompatible with the Bible’s teaching that nature is proof that God exists. Stewart never mentions God in any of his poems. In the poem “Nesting Time,” Stewart claims that  nature is above all else as we wrote, “There’s just this gap in Nature and in man.” The capitalization of “Nature” indicates that he views nature as being higher than the Creator. In addition, Stewart also wrote in “Fireflies,” “Some invisible power flashing in points of brilliance.” This portrays Stewart’s awe upon seeing nature, especially the butterflies. He acknowledges the brilliance of God’s creations but never acknowledges the Creator at all. Therefore, it can be seen that Stewart felt that nature was as breathtaking as ever but he felt that nature is not created for the purpose of glorifying the Creator.

Answering Essential Questions

Context shape and define Australian visions. This includes social context, historical context, and personal context. If the composer has a certain background, the Australian vision portrayed will reflect his or her background. In addition, readers have different backgrounds too so it is possible for them to define certain Australian visions differently. For instance, Douglas Stewart was born in New Zealand but he spent most of his life in Australia. Therefore, since his personal background is different from ours, he may portray Australia in a different way from what we may portray Australia as.

Stewart’s Cave Painting

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Woensel, T. van. “Aboriginal Rock Art, Cathedral Cave Carnarvon NP.” Photograph. Australia. N.p., 28 Aug. 2005. web. 22   May 2015.

The image above is appropriate with Stewart’s poem because the hand art is very much like what Stewart envisioned Aboriginal cave paintings to be. Some dark colored hands show the hardships of Aborigines. The cave painting in the photograph is also mysterious looking with a part of the wall that is darker than the rest, similar to Stewart’s poem.

Visions in “The Moth” by Douglas Stewart

Douglas Stewart creates an image of the fast moving but elegant moths flying from place to place using adjectives and onomatopoeia. The use of adjectives in the phrase, “Bursting and foaming, spinning and gushing” indicates the energy in the moths doing all kinds of movement. Other than the use of adjectives, the use of onomatopoeia from “whirring hush of wings” conveys the silence and the elegance of the flying moths since “hush” is associated with quiet. The moths are therefore moving with a lot of energy peacefully. Stewart views nature as a wondrous peaceful place filled with life and energy.

Douglas Stewart conveys the beauty of nature through the use of metaphor and hyperbole. Stewart wrote “the galaxies swarm like snow” to compare the vast and mesmerizing galaxies of the world with the pure white snow. The metaphor thus reveals to readers that the moths are indeed as untainted as snow but also beautiful like the galaxies. In addition to metaphor, Stewart also uses hyperbole when he wrote, “nothing is left of time.” This means that the moths are so awe-inspiring that it caught Stewart’s breath when he saw them. Stewart’s vision is that nature can be really beautiful interesting.

In the poem titled “The Moths,” composer, Douglas Stewart sees nature as something awe inspiring and full of life. Douglas Stewart creates an image of the fast moving moths using adjectives in the phrase, “Bursting and foaming, spinning and gushing,” which indicates the intense energy of moths doing all kinds of movement. Other than the use of adjectives, the use of onomatopoeia from “whirring hush of wings” conveys the silence and the elegance of the flying moths since “hush” is associated with quietness. The effect of these images leaves the reader feeling that the moths are moving with a lot of energy peacefully. Douglas Stewart conveys the beauty of nature using the metaphor, “the galaxies swarm like snow” to compare the vast and mesmerizing galaxies of the world with the pure white snowy moths. The metaphor thus reveals to readers that the moths are indeed as untainted as snow but also beautiful like the galaxies. In addition to metaphor, Stewart also uses hyperbole when he wrote, “nothing is left of time,” which indicates that even Stewart was blown away by the beauty of the moths. Through Stewart’s poem, readers can visualize the marvelous beauty and liveliness of Australia’s flora and fauna.

Contrasting Australian Visions

One of the texts that illustrate distinctive Australian vision is the poem by Dorothea Mackellar titled “My Country.” The author’s vision of Australia is about the physical nature of the land that she holds near and dear to her heart. Even though Australia may have its hardships and difficulties, she thinks that the beauty is well worth more than that. Mackellar used multiple personifications of the Australian land to emphasize her unique vision. For instance, she described Australia as “A willful, lavish land.” The author’s choice of words shows that even though she thinks the land is stubborn, it is also very generous to the people living and working in Australia. The poet wrote, “For flood and fire and famine, She pays us back threefold.” It can be seen from the word “she” that the land is like a woman to the author, both beautiful and beneficial. This beauty surpasses all the disasters that come with the land. Thus, using the language features, the poet envisioned Australia to be an eccentric splendor that gives so much to the people.

On the other hand, the song titled “I Am Australian” written by Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton describes a different vision of Australia when compared to Mackellar’s “My Country.” Woodley and Newton envisioned a united people of Australia even though they may have varying backgrounds. The composers use certain pronouns that are first person, second person and third person but mostly first person. The use of first person pronouns are repeated but from different points of views. For instance, the first stanza is from the point of view of the aborigines while the second stanza is from the point of view of European convicts. However, both stanzas still use pronouns that emphasize the varying backgrounds of the people. To show unity, the composers say, “I am, you are, we are Australian.” The pronouns are used to highlight that everyone is Australian, not only the aborigines or the Australians trying to make a living but everyone in Australia. Therefore, it can be seen that Woodley and Newton have visions of the togetherness between Australians and these visions are in fact different from Mackellar’s visions of the Australian land.