"A Righteous Day" by Mudrooroo Nyroongah

1486 WordsMar 12, 20076 Pages
'A Righteous Day' written by Mudrooroo Nyroongah on 26TH January (Australia Day), in 1988, is a poem set in the first person voice that has been composed in response to the depressing day of the Bicentenary of European Settlement. As the "righteous" day is reflected by the persona, this contrasts with the 'White' Australians celebrating a "successful" colonisation in high-spirited ways, because to the Aborigines it is a day of mourning as they view it as Invasion day. The poem underlines the fact that despite the hardships Aborigines have experienced as a result of White Colonisation, it would be ideal if they shifted from prisoners of society to proactive citizens of Australia who will stand tall with pride and win their internal battles…show more content…
The phrase emphasizes the poet's view of the importance of this day in positive means, and also the negative attributes of the day. It suggests a new beginning and their possible achievements such as the possibility of uniting the two distinct cultures together, but negatively it also seems to be a deliberate provoke, reminding the Aborigines of their defeat, and their loss of land, culture, and identity. In line 9, the poet stresses again about his people's need to "walk tall", where ideally, each Aborigine should change their mindset to become strong and proud. It displays an image of him being equal in height with the authoritative leaders, which emphasises his pride and self-respect. It also shows that the Aborigines' have found new determination and hope, which is a source of their motivation to strive for justice in the face of adversity. The poet uses a comparative image of his people's leaders performing on stilts, "with the leaders who walk on stilts and stumble", suggesting that the leaders are exposed to the risks of being disempowered politically and morally. This is because the leaders are not willing to acknowledge the fact that they have caused extreme measures of destruction to the Aboriginal race. It also suggests that the leaders are weak, as they are not really tall but are on 'stilts', which is a deception of height, and is an illusion of their superiority over the Aborigines. The line, "as they greet me with the cries

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