Essay about Environmental themes in the Poem " Dust" by Judith Wright

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Dust, written by Judith Wright, discusses the concepts of a destroyed, empty world and a mother reflecting on the days when the “Earth was kinder”. Through her poem she shows the audience her fears for the world and how the world will become barren and “sick” if the environment is not cared for. This is typical of Judith Wright, with environmental themes central to many of her poems. The emotive responses that are evoked while reading this poem are extremely strong. A great sadness is experienced as she describes the barren new word and contrasts it to the previous one. To convey the moral of this poem Wright has employed many different literary and poetic techniques. These range over three major categories, imagery, structure and…show more content…
Evil also personifies the earth with these conations stating that the once kind “earth turns evil”. Together with grief’s taste this helps the reader to visualise even more clearly the future earth which Wright imagines. From the picture that she has developed inside the reader’s head Wright hopes for them to get a better understanding and a greater concern for the consequences that follow a lack of environmental attention. Judith Wright extensively uses the structure of her poems to convey many ideas and themes. The structure of a poem is crucial to delivering its key message as it determines both the tone and how the poem is read. She shows the reader throughout the poem how the dust, which is symbolic of the barren emptiness that has “overtaken… dreams” of beauty and comfort as well as financial dependence, will consume the earth if the current environment is not conserved and protected. Wright’s use of title emphasizes this point in the clearest way she can and re-enforces her major concept to the audience. Another example of how structure is used in this poem is juxtaposition. The first and second stanzas are strategically placed next to each other because of their greatly opposing descriptions. In stanza one, the new world of dust and wind, many negative adjectives are used, such as “harsh”, “grief” and “steel-shocked”. Stanza two, which talks about the past, contains a wide range of positive adjectives such as “good”, “kinder” and “beautiful”.

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