Richard Lau – Poetry summary on We are Going by Grannie Coolwell.
We are going is a modern Australian poem created by Grannie Coolwell about the loss of identity of aboriginals and the implications of colonisation on them. The poem utlizes various poetic techiniques and evokes a strong sense of loss and depression. The poet uses a depressing tone and expresses the main theme of loss and oppression in a first person narrative.
In the first stanza of the poem, Grannie Coolwell starts with imagery of a “semi naked band”. This refers to aboriginals. The band walk into a little town, supposedly their tribal lands. They are described as subdued and silent with the use of alliteration, which evokes a feeling of loss as when someone is silent or subdued it usually is because of sadness. The next few lines describe what it is now, with the simile :“white men hurry about like ants”, and a form of vandilization is described in how there is a real estate sign stating “rubbish may be tipped here”. This further creates a strong feeling of loss, in how rubbish, such a vile thing is covering sacred grounds which they once lived on. The poem further states their spiritual identity “we are the old sacred ceremonies” ect.
As the poem progresses we get a stronger understanding of what the poem is about. The poet utilizes metaphors to show the past identities of abroginals and who they were before the colonisation of Australia occurred. The poet is basically stating how the abroginals had a clear identity before colonisation, the poet clearly sends a message of how their true identity remains in the past “we are the nature and the past, all the old ways. Following on the start of stanza 3, “Gone now and scattered”, is the real 'Groundbreaker' in this poem. This really shows the theme of loss, as the literal words of gone mean loss. The poet further repeats the word gone, emphasising on the theme of loss strongly with the techinique of repetition. Further expanding on “Gone...