The Firstborn by Jack Davis

1231 WordsSep 29, 20135 Pages
Discuss how your investigation of the generic conventions of poetry has influenced your understanding of at least one poem that you have studied in this unit. Our knowledge of the generic conventions used in poetry influences our understanding of the text. “The Firstborn”, a poem by Aboriginal author Jack Davis, enables the reader to determine the poem as a graphic protest about the extinction of and discrimination against the Australian Indigenous people, and the loss of their ethnicity, as their world collides with the Western culture. By focussing on my understanding of both generic conventions and author’s context, I am able to conclude that the poem concerns a tragedy within the Aboriginal community. To understand a poem, it is…show more content…
The loss of Aboriginal ethnicity is also highlighted when the land asks “Where are the laws and legends I gave?” This dates back to the Aboriginal culture, as their spirituality is inextricably linked to the land. They believe everything on the vast landscape has meaning and purpose. As long as they look after the land, the land will thereby return the favour. However, through time, Aboriginals have begun shifting away from their original beliefs as their world collides with the Western world. Different meanings could be made out of this; such as the more Aboriginals walk away from their culture, the less inclined the land will be to look after them, thus breaking the chain of their spirituality and beliefs. Caesuras such as full stops and question marks are used are pauses for a moment of reflection. Through the reader’s understanding of the poem’s structure, they are able to not only understand how the poem is to be read but also get the feel and emotions coming across from the poet. Each poem conveys the messages or intentions of the poet and these may be explicit or implicit. “The Firstborn” is a clear protest about the extinction of and discrimination against the Australian Indigenous people as shown through the eyes of the brown land. Through the use of

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